Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: CHIARA MILITELLO

Expected Learning Outcomes

This course explores the history of aesthetic to the present day. The course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the discipline of aesthetics and philosophy of art, with particular reference to the historical development of the subject and its relation to the arts, literature, music, cinema and photography. At the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts and methods of aesthetics and philosophy of art. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of beauty, art, and philosophy; they will also be introduced to the central questions of aesthetics.

Course Structure

The teaching will be carried out through lectures, a method that will ensure the transmission of contents and methods. In order to achieve the objectives relating to learning and communication skills, questions for clarification and deepening by the students will be encouraged during the lessons.

Required Prerequisites

No prior knowledge is required.

Attendance of Lessons

Class attendance is strongly recommended, because the exposition of philosophical theories by the professor greatly facilitates the acquisition of the contents by the students.

Detailed Course Content

The definition of aesthetics. How to navigate the world of aesthetics. The common view on ugliness. The manifestations of ugliness through the ages. The richness and unpredictability of ugliness. Nightmares, terrors and loves. Repulsion and compassion. The rejection of deformity. Decadent ecstasy. Violations of the classical canon. Demons, madmen and perturbing presences. Deformity and the sublime.

Textbook Information

1. Sergio Givone, Prima lezione di estetica, Laterza 2012, 164 pages.
2. On Ugliness, edited by Umberto Eco, Harvill Secker/Rizzoli USA 2007, 455 pages.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Where to begin the study of aesthetics?1 (parte prima, cap. 1)
2The aesthetic experience1 (parte prima, cap. 2)
3Art: making and/or knowing?1 (parte prima, cap. 3)
4The enigma of beauty1 (parte prima, cap. 4)
5Absent truth as a source of illumination1 (parte prima, cap. 5)
6Philosophy and poetry1 (parte seconda, cap. 1)
7Philosophy and music1 (parte seconda, cap. 2)
8Philosophy and painting1 (parte seconda, cap. 3)
9Philosophy and cinema1 (parte seconda, cap. 4)
10Ugliness in the Classical World2 (chapter 1)
11Passion, Death, Martyrdom2 (chapter 2)
12The Apocalypse, Hell, and the Devil2 (chapter 3)
13Monsters and Portents2 (chapter 4)
14The Ugly, the Comic, and the Obscene2 (chapter 5)
15The Ugliness of Woman from Antiquity to the Baroque Period2 (chapter 6)
16The Devil in the Modern World2 (chapter 7)
17Witchcraft, Satanism, Sadism2 (chapter 8)
18Physica curiosa2 (chapter 9)
19Romanticism and the Redemption of Ugliness2 (chapter 10)
20The Uncanny2 (chapter 11)
21Iron Towers and Ivory Towers2 (chapter 12)
22The Avant-Garde and the Triumph of Ugliness2 (chapter 13)
23The Ugliness of Others, Kitsch, and Camp2 (chapter 14)
24Ugliness Today2 (chapter 15)

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral examination, assessed on the basis of the following elements: relevance of the answers to the questions asked (necessary to pass the exam); content quality, ability to connect the various parts of the course, proper philosophical language, overall expressive skills (all these elements contribute to the final evaluation, provided that the answers are relevant).

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

What does aesthetic experience mean?
Why did Deleuze state that montage is a specifically philosophical problem?
How was ugliness viewed in the classical world?
What is the difference between camp and kitsch?