Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 277: Aesthetics

PHIL 277: Aesthetics

The Generic Catalog Description

This course explores one or more of the following philosophical questions in aesthetics: What is art? What is good art (art evaluation or critical theory)? What is beauty? What is it about human nature that allows us to experience beauty?

PHIL 277: Aesthetics

Dan Vaillancourt

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the various approaches to the philosophical study of beauty and the arts.

The Spring 2011 course explores the topic of aesthetics in six parts:   

1. Our lives as aesthetic phenomena;
2. Beauty as a universal concept;
3. Beauty as a cultural construct in cultures around the world;
4. The American view of beauty: lookism;
5. The Catholic intellectual heritage response to lookism;
6. A 21st century view of beauty: extreme beauty.

I believe in class-by-class graded assignments that give evidence of the work you do between classes (you should work daily on this course). I use everything: quizzes, essays, discussions, presentations, groups, debates, dramatizations, and so on. My medium of choice, however, is the written one. I use an electronic classroom and rely heavily on the web, email, and other technological marvels to conduct class.