PHL 236 - Philosophy & the Arts

Course unit(s): 1
Meets GAR: Meets general academic requirement HU and DE.
Art works and aesthetic objects are frequently held up as some of the most civilized and civilizing components of any society or community. Foundations preserve their contribution to identity and heritage, museums prolong their status in cultural memory, and institutions receive and distribute funding to ensure their continued role in education and social values. Yet art and aesthetics can also serve as powerful vehicles of critique and disobedience--sometimes attacking these very foundations, museums, and institutions, in addition to government and other individuals and bodies of power--in any given community or polity. In this course we will explore this double nature of art as both civil and disobedient. Readings will include authors and aesthetic genres from groups and geographic locations historically underrepresented in philosophy. Topics include race representation, gender identity, and class difference; classicism, modernism, and postmodernism; street art, kitsch, junkyards, jokes, and mass art, among others.

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