Philosophy 280: Aesthetics
Ned Hettinger, Fall 2015

gold tree ice

Schedule of Assignments
Critical comment or question list

Aesthetics Work Group

Why Major in Philosophy?
GRE scores by Major
Discussion of above
Philosophy a Practical Major?
Reasons to Major in Philosophy
Liberal Arts Grads Win Long-Term
About the CofC Philosophy Major

Spring Philosophy Courses

Evaluate this course here



Aesthetics paper assignment and topics
Suggestions for writing your philosophy paper

Answer key of midterm exam


**Final exam: Monday, Dec 14th, 4-7pm, in classroom**

Study questions are HERE

Knife attack confused for performance art

Aesthetics of Nature

Monday,  Dec 7: Noel Carroll, “On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History,” Arguing, pp. 172-191

Aesthetics of Nature

Carroll on Being Moved by Nature


Wednesday, Dec 2: Allen Carlson, “Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment,” Arguing, pp. 157-171

Carlson on Aes Appreciation of the Nature

Overview of Carlson's argument

Fairy Tales Effects on Children by Will Raines (CofC Philosophy major)
Aesthetics Work Group Meeting, Friday, 12/4 at 4:15PM, 14 Glebe
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Art Matters Reception

Artists Install Fake Ads at Climate Conference

Value and Art
Value and Art

Nov 30: Finish (if haven't already) Davies, Ch 8: The Value of Art, pp. 199-231

 Goldfish Blending Art?

Is Starving a Dog Art? Depends, Art Professor Says
Artist Leaves Dog To Die on Exhibition Display” (Snopes discussion)



Is Art Failing Us?

Should Art be Socially Responsible?

Political Art: Faces on Potholes

Tortoises with Ipads

Nov 25-29, Thanksgiving Break 

Monday, Nov 23: Davies, Ch 8: The Value of Art, pp. 199-31

Davies on the Value of Art
Video: Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will

Paper is due Friday, Nov 20th, 1 pm, 14 Glebe (inside) mailbox (paper copy)

Nov 18: Kendall Walton, “Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality” on class webpage

Walton on Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality

Environmental Art

Monday, Nov 16: Glen Parsons, “Art in Nature


Environmental Art

Parsons on Environmental Art

Video: Andy Goldsworthy, “Rivers and Tides (Trailer)

Will a Lawsuit Prevent Land Artist Christo from Draping the Arkansas River?

The Industrial Sublime
Edward Burtynsky's Photographs

Representation and Art

Wednesday, Nov 11: Davies, Ch. 7: Pictorial Representation and the Visual Arts, pp. 167-195

Representation and Art

Davies on Representation

Emotion and Art
Monday, Nov 9: Again, Davies, Ch 6: Expression and Emotional Responses, pp. 135-166

Wednesday, Nov 4: Davies, Ch 6: Expression and Emotional Responses, pp. 135-166

Emotion and Art

Davies on Expression and Emotion in Art

Aesthetic Testimony
4:30, Monday Nov 9, 14 Glebe
(Free quiz opportunity)

Is it Art? (Humor)

NPR interview with J.K. Rowling (audio)
J.K. Rowling on her pen name (audio)

Emotion and Art

Monday, Nov 2: Berys Gaut, “The Paradox of Horror,” Arguing, pp. 317-329

Gaut on Horror
Cleanup In Aisle 5: Impromptu Art Or Just A Big Mess?

Wednesday, Oct 28: Alex Neill, “Fiction and the Emotions,” Arguing, pp. 272-288

Neill on Fiction and Emotion

Chart of Neill on Fiction and Emotion

Literature helps in mind-reading others (supermarket novels do not)

Paradox of Fiction (encyclopedia article)

Meaning, Intention, and Interpretation

Monday, Oct 26: Davies, Ch 5: Interpretation, pp. 109-134

Davies on Interpretaton

Chart on Interpretation

The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles
Table of Contents
Includes: Is Dumbledore Gay? Who's to Say? (Tamar Szabó Gendler)

**Paper proposal due: Friday, Oct 23th by email to 

**Aesthetics paper assignment and topics**


The Ontology of Artworks

Wednesday, Oct 21: Davies, Ch. 4: Varieties of Art, pp. 81-108 (again)

Oct 19 (& 20): Fall Break

The Ontology of Artworks

Davies, Ch 4: Ontology of Art

Scientists debating global warming
(Example of political art)

Isaac Cordal

Wed, Oct 14: Davies, Ch. 4: Varieties of Art, pp. 81-108

Davies, Ch 4: Ontology of Art


Mon Oct 12: Mid-Term Exam

Answer key of midterm exam

Midterm quiz score interpretation

*****Mid-Term Study Questions*****

Rock versus Classical Music
Rock versus Classical Music
Rock versus Classical Music

Wed, Oct 7: Stephen Davies, “Rock versus Classical Music

Davies on Rock vs. Classical

Two talks on Aesthetics at CofC PhilosoFest II
Friday, Oct 9, Tate Center, Liberty Street, Rm. 202
Susan Wolf (UNC, Chapel Hill) "Aesthetic Responsibility" 3:30—5:00
Jonathan Neufeld (CofC) "Aesthetic Civil Disobedience" 5:10—6:00
(Each is a separate Free Quiz Opportunity)

Mon, Oct 5: Bruce Baugh, “Prolegomena to Any Aesthetics of Rock Music
Baugh on Rock Music


$3 Yard Sale Painting in North Charleston, Worth $105,000 at Auction


Wed, Sep 30: Roger Scruton, “The Decline of Musical Culture,” Arguing, pp. 121-136

Scruton on Decline in Musical Culture


CofC Dept of Music Concert Series
Good website for information about music
Met Opera on Demand

Articles on Rock Music and Song
Philosophy and Hip Hop
Mixing classical and rock: Lindsey Stirling
Rock and Classical Music Lovers Have Similar Psychological Profiles

Can a printer play music?

What is Aesthetic Appreciation?

Monday, Sep 28: Finish reading Davies, Ch. 3: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, pp. 52-80

What is Aesthetic Appreciation?
Tehching Hsieh, Performance Artist

Wed. Sep 23: Davies, Ch. 3: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, pp. 52-80

Davies, Ch 3

Thurs, 9/24 at 4:00, 14 Glebe, Mathew Rabon (Philosophy student, CofC) will present his “Hat Rack David: A Social Ontology of Art.” Info here; copy of paper here
(Free quiz opportunity)

Public Art and Censorship

Mon, Sep 21:

Peter Levine, “Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum Controversy

Quebec Special Effects Artist Not guilty of Corrupting Morals

Public Art and Censorship

Levine on Brooklyn Museum Controversy

Questions on Quebec Special Effects Artist

Censorship of CofC's Fun Home selection?

Carroll, Can Government Funding of Art Be Justified?

Wiki on "Obscenity"


Wed, Sep 16: Michael Kelly, “Public Art controversy: The Serra and Lin cases,” Arguing, pp. 427-439

Kelly on Serra and Lin

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (video)

Maya Lin on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin Studio

Maya Lin: What is Missing?

Monday, Sep 14:

Various contributors, “Transcript of a Hearing to Decide the Future of Tilted Arc,” Arguing, pp. 399-405

Gregg Horowitz, “Public Art /Public Spaces: Spectacle of the Tilted Arc Controversy,” Arguing, 416-426

About Tilted Arc Controversy

Horowitz on Tilted Arc

Dave Barry, “Does Public Art Make Sense? (humor)
Public Art comic

ETV on Tilted Arc
(good summary)

Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son

What is Art?

Wed, Sep 9: “Is it Art or Just a Toilet Seat?

What is Art?

Questions about "Is It Art or Just a Toilet Seat?"

Table of Art Definitions

Human Rights and the Arts by Jonathan Neufeld, CofC, Philosophy, Thursday, September 10 at 4PM in 14 Glebe
(Free quiz opportunity)

Barry Lopez talk and reception
Thursday, Sept 10th, 7pm, Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St.
Interview with Lopez and Lopez as artist
(Free quiz opportunity)
**Now Free for Students**
Call the Birds of Prey Center (the sponsor) and reserve a ticket at Will Call by speaking with Kara in  the office at 843-971-7474


Monday, Sep 7: Davies, Ch. 2: Defining Art, pp. 26-51

Davies on Defining Art (Ch 2)

Which is art?
One Two Three Four Five Six

Example of an excellent critical question/observation

Lonnie Holley Video

Wed, Sep 2: Elizabeth Telfer, “Food as Art,” Arguing About Art (hereafter “Arguing”), pp. 11-29

Telfer, Food as Art

How Food Replaced Art As High Culture

Bower Bird

Origins of Art

Monday, Aug 31: Stephen Davies, The Philosophy of Art (hereafter “Davies”), Ch. 1: Evolution and Culture, pp. 1-25

Origins of Art

Davies, Ch 1

Should museums return artworks to their origin?
Elgin Marbles in British Museum
Greece Urges Return of Sculptures

The Fine Art of Returning Art


Wednesday, Aug 26: Introduction

School of the Arts Fall Calendar

Lonnie Holley Facebook Wikipedia

PBS "Flashpoints"
(on controversial art, excellent site)

Duchamp's Urinal Tops Art Survey

On Arthur Danto (art critic and philosopher): "Non-Art for Non-Art's Sake"
Pollen as Art



Museum of Bad Art
Does exposure to art make us like it more? Not for "bad art"

Public Art Comic

Dave Barry, “Does Public Art Make Sense?” (humor)
Carroll, Can Government Funding of Art Be Justified?



Will a lawsuit prevent Land artist Christo from draping the Arkansas river?

The Industrial Sublime

Edward Burtynsky's Photographs








Is Dumbledore Gay? Who's to Say? (Tamar Szabó Gendler)
from The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles


Discussion with local photographer about role of reality in photography