PPY-221: Philosophy of Art
Syllabus for Spring Semester, 2008

Dr. Scott Kimbrough
Office: Council 127
Office hours: M 11:00-1:00, W 10:00-12:00, or by appointment or by appointment
Office phone: 256-7118
E-mail: skimbro@ju.edu

Last update 4/3/08


Course Description:

Art enjoys a central place in culture. We accord it a high degree of respect and resources. At the same time, we are hard pressed to articulate what it is that makes art valuable, or even sometimes to distinguish art from non-art. Other puzzling issues include the nature of aesthetic experience, the relationship between art and morality, the differences between art and entertainment, and the connections between art and emotion. This class will approach these issues via contemporary debates on specific issues. For example, the distinction between art and non-art will be explored by discussing borderline media such as food, popular music, photography, and erotica.

Required Textbook:

Alex Neill and Aaron Ridley (eds.), Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates, Third Edition, Routledge, 2008.

Course Requirements:

Participation and Attendance: Attendance and participation in discussions are expected.

Field trips: The class will take at least two field trips, including the downtown art walk on Wednesday, March 5th. (If the weather is bad that day, we'll try Wednesday, April 2nd.)

Examples and counterexamples (5% each = 10%): The body of works that have been historically recognized as art provides a data set of sorts for testing philosophical claims about art. Each student will on two occasions come to class armed with an example from the history of art that either illustrates or challenges the claims about art being discussed in the class readings for that day. The example will be accompanied by a one-page paper explaining why it supports or refutes the claims in question.

Papers Relating Artistic Events to Course Content (10% each = 20%): Each student must attend two artistic events. Types of events include, but are not limited to, art exhibits, theater, dance, art film, music, etc. Each event must be of a different type (e.g., only one art film, one dance, etc.). For each event, write a two to three page paper that describes the event and relates it to a reading (or two) from the course. Event papers are due 2/28 and 3/28.

Taking sides (15% each = 45%): Three three to five page argumentative essays will take sides in the debates presented in a chapter of the textbook. Due dates are: 2/15, 3/14, and 4/16. It is up to you which chapters to write about.

Take-home final exam (25%): A take-home final exam will be due Friday, April 25th at noon.

Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities that are documented through the student life office will receive reasonable accommodations.

Plagiarism and Turn It In

Definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism consists in copying or closely paraphrasing the work of another, in whole or in part, without citing the source. Plagiarized papers will receive a zero. Furthermore, plagiarists will be reported to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

All papers must be submitted electronically to turnitin.com.

A hard copy of each paper must be submitted as well. The hard copy must have the turnitin reciept number for the paper written on the upper right corner of the first page.

To register for turnitin, click on New User on the upper right hand side of the screen and follow the instructions.

To log on, you will need the class ID number and the password. Here they are: ID 2137344, password philosophy.

Papers that are not submitted to turnitin will receive an F.



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