Philosophy: Topics in the Philosophy of Art (daytime)
"Matthew has great interaction with students!" - Student in 2019 (anonymous feedback)
Information at a Glance
- Daytime (lunchtime) Class
- Mondays 13:00 - 13:50
- 10 weeks: late July to September
- 1 hour weekly online taught time
- Tutor: Matthew Rowe
- Fees from £34 to £58
- Online course
- COURSE FULL
Philosophy has always had a close relationship to the visual arts and on this 10-week class Dr Matthew Rowe invites you to join him on a journey to explore some of the fascinating and sometimes extraordinary philosophical ideas that have influenced artists and the understanding of art.
Through presentations with photographic slides by the lecturer and group discussions, the course will help you to develop your understanding of key themes in art and the philosophy of art, including:
- The relationship between art and craft;
- Connections between beauty, pleasure and morality;
- Art’s role in as a form of knowledge;
- The status of the maker – artisans and artists;
- The idea of the aesthetic and aesthetic judgements;
- The definition of art;
- What kind of thing are artworks?;
- The role of critics and interpretation;
- Why is art important? What does it do?
By the end of the course, you will have encountered a range of different philosophical views on art that should help you to understand and appreciate visual art in new and exciting ways.
You do not need to have previous experience or knowledge of art history or philosophy to take this course.
This 10-week course offers one 50-minute online session each week (10 contact hours).
*** THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL ***
To take part in this class you will need an internet connected computer or tablet, together with a Microsoft Teams Account. Microsoft Teams accounts are free, but you do need to register for one in advance using the same email address with which you enrol on this course. We recommend you also download the Microsoft Teams App.
If you want to take part in this class you will need at a microphone and web-camera connected to your computer or tablet. Many computers, laptops and tablets already have these built in, but you might want to check on that first.
Course programme (may be subject to minor modification)
Week 1: Overview of the Subject
This week we introduce the subject – what is the philosophy of art – and what is it about? We look at the central topics as well as providing an overview of some the philosophies of art from the canon of Western Philosophy.
Week 2: Aesthetics
This week we will look aesthetics: a particular kind of experience or judgement – both in terms of Kant’s classic theory and more recent developments: What are aesthetic judgements? What are aesthetic terms? How do we use aesthetic judgements? Is there an aesthetic attitude?
Week 3: Aesthetics v Art
This week we will look at the distinction between aesthetics and art – as well as what ties them together. We’ll see how these have become separated from Modernism onwards and what this means for questions of the definition of art, and ideas of what kind of activity is needed to make an artwork, or produce an object of aesthetic attention.
Week 4: Fakes and Forgeries
This week will look at the idea of fakes and forgeries and their implications for theories of art. Does originality and authenticity have any more than economic and historical import? What have we lost when we discover that an artwork was not what we thought it was? Do they matter in the same way and in the same degree to all artworks? What is a fake or a forgery anyway?
Week 5: Are Some Artworks Unfakable?
This week we will examine whether some artworks, because of the kind of things they are, or indeed some art forms, cannot be forged and cannot have fake instances. We will also look at the distinction between the creative arts and the performing arts, and how forgery and fakes might occur differently, and have different implications within both.
Week 6: What Sort of Things are Artworks?
This week will address the question of what kinds of things are artworks? Some, like paintings, seem to be objects, and others, like music, seem to be scores or instructions. What does this mean and what else follows from this?
Week 7: Different Kind of Artworks
Building on last week’s discussion, We’ll also explore the differences between the so-called creative and performative arts, and asking questions such as When and how can an artwork be lost? And are artworks always in definite art form?
Week 8: The Definition of Art
This week we will explore the different proposed approaches within the philosophy of art to the question of art’s definition. We’ll explore the different kinds of definition that have been proposed – those based on what it is to make art, on what it is to appreciate art, on their aesthetic properties, on whether and how they express or symbolise emotion or language – as well as those that suggest that art can only be defined as certain kind of activity, or cultural context, or indeed, those that suggest that ‘art’ is a concept that cannot be defined.
Week 9: The Bases of Interpretation & Judgements
This week will tie up many strands from the previous 8 weeks be discussing how we make judgments about artworks and what we’re doing when interpret artworks. How is what we think about an artwork related to pleasure? How is it related to what art form we think the artwork is in? Is all our talk about the worth of artworks subjective opinions, based on our preferences?
Week 10: What Are Critics Doing? What Are They For?
What kind of judgement are they making? Are there interpretive facts about artworks that are right or wrong, Why should we listen to the opinion of some people rather than others? Are some people’s opinions more worthwhile? And if so, why?
There is no requirement to undertake specific reading for this course.
Dr Matthew Rowe is an extremely experienced and engaging teacher of philosophy, as well as being a practising philosopher in his own right.
His interests lie in aesthetics, the philosophy of art and relationship between artistic practice and art theory. He is primarily a writer, although he also engages in solo and collaborative visual art practises when appropriate.
His current writing research focusses on site speficity within artisitic production and issues surrounding morality and photography. Current writing projects include an essay on John Waters and a philosophical analysis of irony and sincerity.
As well as teaching at Imperial College London, Matthew also lectures at City and Guilds of London Art School.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|All fee rates quoted are for the whole course.|
Fee Categories and Discounts
- Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form.
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- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
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- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read these before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term||Summer term|
|10||10||n/a||n/a||n/a||w/c 27 Jul - w/c 28 Sept 2020 (10 weeks)|
Web enrolment starts 29 June
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|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
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Certificate of Attendance
Our adult education evening and daytime classes do not offer academic credits, but we do offer an attendance certificate to those learners who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions. Eligible learners receive their certificate by email after the end of the course.
Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the tutor, Dr Matthew Rowe at email@example.com