Undergraduate Course: After Aesthetics: Philosophy and/as Art (HIAR10128)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course follows on from the third-year course 'The Rise of the Aesthetic: Art, Nature and the Ideal'. It focuses on the late-nineteenth and twentieth-century critique of the concept of aesthetic experience and of related notions of subjectivity, particularly in the work of existential phenomenologists but also in the work of Frankfurt School critical theorists and some post-structuralist writers. The notion of aesthetic experience developed from eighteenth-century idealism and became of central importance to art-historical discourse as well as philosophy of art in the nineteenth century. Alois Riegl, for example, narrated the shift from classical to Christian art in terms of a more subjectivised mode of representation, while Heinrich Wölfflin saw in the transition from 'Renaissance' to 'Baroque' the move from a world of discrete entities to one unified in the fugitive nature of subjective visual experience. However, the claim that 'feeling', or a universal sense of humanity in experience, defines our relationship to art was rejected by a number of radical thinkers from the later nineteenth century onwards. For example, Nietzsche's existentialism attempted in different ways to reframe the significance of art to human culture; Freud's psychoanalysis undermined the notion of the unity of the subject and the motivations for artistic activity; more recently, Paul de Man attacked the very notion of aesthetics on political grounds. Students will engage with these challenging debates in module texts via presentations, group work and by bringing to class examples from the history of the arts that amplify or challenge the ideas under discussion.
Part 1 : Nietzsche on Art
The Birth of Tragedy
Part 2 : Freud and Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (excerpts) and Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood
Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny
Part 3 : Art and Phenomenology
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, 'Cézanne's Doubt' and 'Eye and Mind'
Martin Heidegger, 'The Origin of the Work of Art'
Martin Heidegger, 'The Origin of the Work of Art' (continued)
Part 4 : From Heidegger to Post-Structuralism
Jacques Derrida, 'Restitutions, or The Truth in Pointing'
Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, Chapter 1
Jean François Lyotard, The Inhuman
Coda : Against Post-Aesthetics
Jacques Rancière, Aesthetics and its Discontents
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain verbally and in writing some key arguments in the development of post-aesthetic philosophy of art.
- Distinguish between the positions taken by thinkers studied in the course on the role of art in human society.
- Engage in open discussion with peers, defending their own views clearly and respecting the views of others.
- Work effectively in a group context.
- Conduct independent library research in support of written work and present their ideas succinctly and clearly using both theoretical and visual material.
Jacques Derrida, 'Restitutions, of The Truth in Pointing' in The Truth in Painting, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987
Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: an archaeology of the human sciences, New York: Vintage Books, 1973
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, (Pelican Freud Library, Vol 4), Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983
'Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood', 'The Uncanny', Art and Literature (Pelican Freud Library, Vol 14), Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988
Martin Heidegger, 'The Origin of the Work of Art', in Julian Young and Kenneth Hayes (trans.), Off the Beaten Track, Cambridge: CUP, 2002
Galen Johnson (ed.), The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting, Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1993
Jean François Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, London: Polity, 1993
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, in Raymond Geuss and Ronald Spiers (eds.), The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, Cambridge: CUP, 1999 (rev.ed.)
Jacques Rancière, Aesthetics and its Discontents, London: Polity Press, 2009
David Cooper, A Companion to Aesthetics, Oxford: Blackwell, 1995
Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy (on-line at http://plato.stanford.edu)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Neil Cox
Tel: (0131 6)50 2313
|Course secretary||Mrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460