Philosophy 305

PHI 305: Philosophy of Art
David Sanson
Illinois State University
Fall 2022

Stevenson 227A
Monday 2:00pm – 4:50pm

We will explore a cluster of philosophical questions about art and artworks, both in general, and in the context of particular art forms and artistic media. Some of these are questions in metaphysics: What is art? Can games be art? What makes an artwork an artwork of one kind rather than another? When is an artwork complete? Are musical works created or discovered? Some are in aesthetics: What is the point of art? How are we supposed to engage with art? Why do we enjoy watching horror films? What is the nature of artistic representation and expression? Some are at the overlap between aesthetics and ethics: Why should some monuments be kept and others removed? Can we separate the art from the artist? Is cultural appropriation in the arts ever okay?

I am still settling on a specific set of readings and assignments. In the meantime, interested students might take a look at Aesthetics for Birds.