1331.16 - Aesthetics (BA)

Course number
Aesthetics (BA)
"Miðnámsprógv” with a minimum average of 5,8 or comparable secondary education.
This course aims to provide an overview of some of the main theories and key concepts in aesthetics. Through lectures and discussions, the students gain foundational knowledge about aesthetics as a subject and as a tool for analysing art.
The course is at once an introduction to the history of aesthetics and an investigation of some of the most general philosophical questions about the nature of art. Is it possible to define art? What is beauty? And does the aesthetic value of an artwork depend on the moral message of the work? We will hear what historical as well as contemporary philosophers have had to say about these and similar questions. Amongst other things, the students will learn about ancient Greek theories of art and how the enlightenment and the romantic movement developed new aesthetic concepts. An emphasis will be put on developing the students’ analytical skills so that they are able to treat theories of art from a critical perspective.
Learning and teaching approaches
Group teaching with lectures, exercises, presentations, and discussions. There will be three hours of teaching per week.
Learning outcomes
After the course is finished, the students should be able to: - explicate some of the main theories and concepts in aesthetics - place these in a historical context - examine philosophical issues concerning art - use aesthetics to analyse works of art - distinguish similarities and dissimilarities between the various artistic disciplines
Assessment method
An essay of 1200-1500 (5-6 pages) words is to be submitted during the course. The course concludes with a three-hour written exam. The essay and the exam each count for 50% of the final mark.
The reading list is provisional. Primary texts and articles will be distributed later. Skirbekk, Gilje, & Landsem Berntsen (1998) Filosofiens Historie, Gyldendal Beardsley, M.C (1966) Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present: A Short History, New York: Macmillan
Bergur Djurhuus Hansen