Philosophy of Art

Art and aesthetics raises deep philosophical puzzles. Sunsets are beautiful because they’re pleasing. But they seem pleasing because they’re beautiful. Galleries display some things because they’re art. But some things are art because galleries display them. Just as the Mona Lisa resembles Lisa, she resembles it. But she does not represent it as it represents her. When one watches a horror film one feels fear, but one does not run away. When one listens to instrumental music one feels sad, but there’s nothing one is sad about. This course addresses the central philosophical questions with which these puzzles are entangled.

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