Department of Philosophy

PHL 375 Aesthetics

Semester: Spring, 2016                                                        Instructor: Dr.Christopher Perricone
When: T, Th, F 11                                                                 Office: Spellman Hall, 2nd floor
Office hours: Tues,Thurs,Fri: 8, 12 or by appointment                Phone: 914 637 2765
                                                                                            e mail:

Course Objectives and Description                        Required Text
Grading Criteria                                                  Course Outline

Course Objectives and Description

In this course students will examine and evaluate some of the central ideas of philosophy of art, i.e. defining 'art', art and morality, form, representation, expression.... These ideas will form the basis of discussion about philosophies of particular arts and discussion of particular works of art. Abundant examples will be provided from literature, music, and the visual arts.

Required Text & Learning Goals

The Nature of Art: an anthology, 3rd edition, Thomas, E. Wartenberg, editor, Wadsworth, 2012.

Minimally, after completing Aesthetics a student will:
1. understand the nature of philosophy,
2. understand some crucial ideas of critical thinking,
3. understand some major ideas in the problems of defining and evaluating art..
4. recognize, express, and analyze arguments in philosophical texts.
5. read and interpret philosophical texts.
6. summarize and explain difficult ideas and concepts.
7. write philosophical essays that have coherent theses and reasonable supporting arguments
8. understand different intellectual perspectives and thus be able to understand that different people will define issues in different ways.
9. develop a sense of the value and limits of philosophy.
10. develop a reflective attitude and sensitivity to the subtleties and complexities of the history and problems of aesthetics.

Grading Criteria, etc.

Grades will be based on the following: 1 long essay (40%), 2 short essays (15% each), a class presentation (15%), class participation and attendence (15%).

Assessment Tools : examinations will have either a muliple choice, short answer, or essay format, or some combination thereof. Students will be notified in advance which format to expect.

College Policy for all courses and students: (full explanations of policy may be found in the College Catalog)

Plagiarism:  Is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author/person and the representation of them as one's own original work.  Iona College policy stipulates that students may be failed for the assignment or course, with no option for resubmission or re-grading of said assignment.  A second instance of plagiarism may result in dismissal from the College. 

Attendance:  All students are required to attend all classes.  Iona has an attendance policy for which all students are accountable.  While class absence may be explained it is never excused.  Professors may weigh class absence in the class grade as they see fit.  Failure to attend class may result in a failure of the class for attendance(FA), when the student has missed 20% or more of the total class meetings.  The FA grade weighs as an F would in the final official transcript.

Course and Teacher Evaluation(CTE):  Iona College now uses an on-line CTE system.  This system is administered by an outside company and all of the data is collected confidentially.  No student name or information will be linked to any feedback received by the instructor.  The information collected will be compiled in aggregate form by the agency and distributed back to the Iona administration and faculty, with select information made available to students who complete the CTE.  Your feedback in this process is an essential part of improving our course offerings and instructional effectiveness.  We want and value your point of view.*
NOTE* You will receive several emails at your Iona email account about how and when the CTE will be administered with instructions how to proceed.

Course Outline

Intro. to philosophy and the arts

Art as Imitation, Plato.

Art as Object of Taste, David Hume.

Art as Revelation, Arthur Schopenhauer.

Art as Redemption, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Art as Significant Form, Clive Bell.

Art as Expression, Robin Collingwood

Art as Experience, John Dewey.

Art as Indefinable, Morris Weitz.

Art as Institution, George Dickie.