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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:

Unit code PHIL20951
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Philosophy
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit is concerned with central questions in analytical aesthetics. The first half of the course covers general questions in aesthetics, such as: what is an artwork?; what is the relation between aesthetic properties, such as elegance and gracefulness, and nonaesthetic properties, such as colour and shape properties?; do perfect forgeries differ in aesthetic value from the originals of which they are forgeries? The second half of the course covers questions specific to the visual arts, such as: how does the way in which photographs represent their objects differ from the way in which paintings do?; what consequences does this have for the aesthetic appreciation of each?; what is it for a work of visual art to be realistic?; is cinema an especially realistic art form?


Pre-requisites: 20 PHIL credits at Level 1

20 PHIL credits at Level 1.


This course unit aims to:

- Enable students to analyse, and develop their own reasoned opinions on, some of the most central and enduring problems in analytical aesthetics.
- Enhance students' powers of critical analysis, reasoning and independent thought.
- Familiarise students with some of the most interesting and provocative texts in analytical aesthetics

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

- Knowledge and understanding of a range of central texts in analytic aesthetics.
- Some in-depth critical knowledge of some of the most important theories in the areas covered by the course.
- The ability to critically reflect on those theories, and to articulate and defend their own views.

Teaching and learning methods

There will be a weekly 2-hour lecture and 1-hour tutorial (for which students will read key texts and prepare answers to questions set by the tutor).

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 55%
Written assignment (inc essay) 35%

Part of the assessment is by Tutorial Participation (Other) = 10%

Feedback methods

The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, thereby enabling students to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are reminded that feedback is necessarily responsive: only when a student has done a certain amount of work and approaches us with it at the appropriate fora is it possible for us to feed back on the student's work. The main forms of feedback on this course are written feedback responses to assessed essays and exam answers.

We also draw your attention to the variety of generic forms of feedback available to you on this as on all SoSS courses. These include: meeting the lecturer/tutor during their office hours; e-mailing questions to the lecturer/tutor; asking questions from the lecturer (before and after lecture); and obtaining feedback from your peers during tutorials.

Recommended reading

Noel Carroll, Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 1999)

Matthew Kieren (ed) Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (Blackwell, 2006)

Gordon Graham, Philosophy of the Arts: An Introduction to Aesthetics (Routledge, 1997)

Alex Neill and Aaron Ridley (eds.), Arguing about Art (McGraw-Hill, 1995)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Julian Dodd Unit coordinator

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