Philosophy 280: Aesthetics, Schedule of Assignments, Hettinger, Fall 2014


1.          Aug 19: Introduction

Origins of Art

2.          Aug 21: Stephen Davies, The Philosophy of Art (hereafter “Davies”), Ch. 1: Evolution and Culture, pp. 1-25

What is Art?

3.          Aug 26: Elizabeth Telfer, “Food as Art,” Arguing About Art (hereafter “Arguing”), pp. 11-29

4.          Aug 28: Davies, Ch. 2: Defining Art, pp. 26-51

5.          Sep 2: “Is it Art or Just a Toilet Seat?” on class webpage

Public Art and Censorship

6.          Sep 4: Two readings:

             a.          Various contributors, “Transcript of a Hearing to Decide the Future of Tilted Arc,” Arguing, pp. 399-405

             b.          Gregg Horowitz, “Public Art /Public Spaces: Spectacle of the Tilted Arc Controversy,” Arguing, 416-426

                          See also Dave Barry, “Does Public Art Make Sense? (humor) on class webpage

7.          Sep 9: Michael Kelly, “Public Art controversy: The Serra and Lin cases,” Arguing, pp. 427-439

             a.          Possible video in class: Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

8.          Sep 11: Peter Levine, “Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum Controversy” on class webpage

             a.          Also, “Quebec Special Effects Artist Not guilty of Corrupting Morals” on class webpage

What is Aesthetic Appreciation?

9.          Sep 16: Davies, Ch. 3: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, pp. 52-80

10.        Sep 18: Same as above                                                                                                          

Rock versus Classical Music

11.        Sep 23: Roger Scruton, “The Decline of Musical Culture,” Arguing, pp. 121-136

12.        Sep 25: Bruce Baugh, “Prolegomena to Any Aesthetics of Rock Music” on class webpage

13.        Sep 30: Stephen Davies, “Rock versus Classical Music” on class webpage

14.        **Oct 2: MIDTERM EXAM**

The Ontology of Artworks

15.        Oct 7: Davies, Ch. 4: Varieties of Art, pp. 81-108

16.        Oct 9: Same as above      

October 9: Lydia Goehr talk

Oct 10: Lydia Goehr at the Aesthetics Work Group                                                               

Meaning, Intention, and Interpretation

17.        Oct 14: Davies, Ch 5: Interpretation, pp. 109-134

Emotion and Art

18.        Oct 16: Alex Neill, “Fiction and the Emotions,” Arguing, pp. 272-288

**Paper proposal due: Friday, Oct 17th by email to

19.        Oct 21: Berys Gaut, “The Paradox of Horror,” Arguing, pp. 317-329

20.        Oct 23: Davies, Ch 6: Expression and Emotional Responses, pp. 135-166

21.        Oct 28: Same as above

Representation and Art

22.        Oct 30: Davies, Ch. 7: Pictorial Representation and the Visual Arts, pp. 167-195

Nov 4: Fall Break (and election day)

Environmental Art 

23.        Nov 6: Glen Parsons, “Art in Nature” on class webpage

             a.          Video: Andy Goldsworthy, “Rivers and Tides

**Paper due: Friday, Nov 7th, 1 pm, 14 Glebe (inside) mailbox (paper copy)**

Value and Art

24.        Nov 11: Kendall Walton, “Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality” on class webpage

25.        Nov 13: Davies, Ch 8: The Value of Art, pp. 199-231                                                                       

             a.          Video: Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will                         

26.        Nov 18: Same as above, plus three readings:

             a.          Goldfish Blending Art? on class web page

             b.          Is Starving a Dog Art? Depends, Art Professor Says” on class webpage

             c.          Artist Leaves Dog To Die on Exhibition Display” (Snopes discussion)

Aesthetics of Nature

27.        Nov 20: Allen Carlson, “Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment,” Arguing, pp. 157-171

28.        Nov 25: Noel Carroll, “On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History,” Arguing, pp. 172-191

**Final exam: Thursday, Dec 4th, in classroom**