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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2019-2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Philosophy

PHIL3031: AESTHETICS

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • At least one 'Year 2' module in Philosophy.

Corequisites

  • At least one other 'Year 3' module in Philosophy.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To give students a grounding in the philosophy of art and literature by introducing them to some historically important texts as well as to more recent work.

Content

  • In one half of the module attention is paid to key texts in aesthetics including at least some of the following: Plato's attack on 'the poets' in the 'Republic', Hume's attempt to provide criteria of aesthetic judgement in 'Of the Standard of Taste', Kant's theory of the aesthetic attitude in the 'Critique of Judgement', and Heidegger's account of the role of art in 'On the origin of the work of art'.
  • In the other half of the module a number of central issues are examined from a list including the aesthetics of music, painting and film, expression in art, the nature of metaphor, the role of imagination, the definition of 'art', the canon, the aesthetics of nature.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of key philosophical theories relating to the issues given above.
  • They will have the knowledge and understanding of key philosophical issues raised by the texts given above.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • correctly utilise specialist vocabulary
  • grasp, analyse, evaluate and deploy subject-specific concepts and arguments
  • locate, understand, assess and utilise pertinent philosophical (and, where appropriate, historical) sources
  • interpret and criticise relevant texts
Key Skills:
  • express themselves clearly and succinctly in writing
  • comprehend complex ideas, propositions and theories
  • defend their opinions by reasoned argument
  • seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information
  • tackle problems in a clear-sighted and logical fashion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver basic module-specific information, and provide a framework for further study.
  • Discussion groups provide opportunities for students to test their own understanding of the material studies, and defend and debate different opinions.
  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students exercise and extend their abilities to make use of available learning resources.
  • The Formative essay provides the opportunity for students to test their knowledge and understanding of the module content, and their ability to present and defend relevant arguments and theories, uninhibited by the need for summative assessment.
  • The summative essay tests knowledge and understanding of the course material, and the ability to identify and explain issues covered in the module, and, using relevant research material, to present different approaches to those issues, and make reasoned judgement on the merits and demerits of such approaches.
  • The unseen examination tests students' overall knowledge and understanding of the module content at the end of the module, and their ability to bring it to bear on new problems under pressure of time.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Discussion groups 8 Fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two-hour unseen written examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One 2,500 word essay 100%

Formative Assessment:

One essay of approximately 2000 words.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



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