Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Philosophical Aesthetics

PHGA7605 Philosophical Aesthetics
Professor Babette Babich
Thursdays, 2:00–4:00 pm

This is a seminar on the tradition of philosophical aesthetics.  Beyond Plato and Aristotle, we will read parts of Kant’s Critique of Judgment as well as shorter excerpts selected from Baumgarten, Lessing, Hume, Schiller, Hegel and Hölderlin as well as Eco, Nietzsche, Adorno, Benjamin, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Arthur Danto, etc.  In addition to raising the questions of philosophical aesthetics, we will review specific questions of contemporary philosophy of art, including the question of  ‘art’ itself, the meaning of the so-called ‘end of art,’ and a reflection on the role of the museum and gallery in the so-called ‘art world.’  We will also raise the question of historical issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of beauty, including postmodern issues, experimental aesthetics, the question of signs and icons, etc., in art, the question of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, feminist aesthetics, and environmental aesthetics.

Likely texts to include:

(In addition to selections from Plato, Aristotle, Winckelmann, Hume, Kant, Schiller, Hegel)

Eco, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages
Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy      
Benjamin, Illuminations
Adorno, The Culture Industry
Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art” in Poetry, Language, Thought
Gadamer, The Relevance of the Beautiful
Danto, After The End of Art
Nehamas, Only a Promise of Happiness

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