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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Ancient Aesthetics MSc (PHIL11090)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will examine theories of beauty and the arts (especially, though not limited to, poetry and drama) in ancient thinkers, especially Plato and Aristotle; thinkers from later antiquity may also be included.

Shared with UG course PHIL10114 Ancient Aesthetics

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description Topics discussed will include the nature of beauty, artistic representation or imitation, censorship and the place of art in education, and the concept of tragedy. The impact of ancient aesthetic theories on later thought may also be considered.

Seminar Content
1. Plato (I): The content of poetry; censorship.
2. Plato (II): The form of poetry; mimesis (imitation) and character.
3. Plato (III); Mimesis revisited; poetry and knowledge.
4. Plato (IV): Poetry and inspiration.
5. Plato (V): Art, Beauty and Philosophy
6. Aristotle (I): Introduction to Aristotle's Poetics; mimesis; poetic form and unity; universality.
7. Aristotle (II): The definition of tragedy; the concept of catharsis.
8. Aristotle (III):The form of tragedy; the concept of hamartia.
9. Aesthetics in the Roman Empire.
10. Plotinus' theory of beauty.
11. Themes and conclusions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  8
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2500 word essay
Word limit: 2500 words maximum (excluding references)
Feedback - Additional fortnightly MSc-only tutorial groups
- Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. an understanding of how these issues relate to continuing debates
  2. an ability to read closely, analyse and criticise ancient philosophical texts
  3. the ability to present and defend arguments
  4. the ability to understand and analyse arguments
Reading List
Plato, Ion: extracts from Republic, Symposium, and Phaedrus.
Aristotle, Poetics: extracts from Politics.
(Reference may also be made to other works by Plato and Aristotle.)
Horace, The Art of Poetry
Longinus, On the Sublime
Plutarch, On the Study of Poetry
Plotinus, extracts from Enneads

Many of these texts may be found in:
A. Sheppard and O. Bychkov, eds, Greek and Roman Aesthetics
D. Russell and M. Winterbottom, eds, Ancient Literary Criticism: the Principal Texts in New Translations
D. Russell and M. Winterbottom, eds, Classical Literary Criticism (a shorter version of the previous volume).

Recommended secondary reading available on Learn.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information

Course organiserDr Andrew Mason
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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