Academic Year 2022/2023 - 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 aesthetic experience. Aesthetic evaluation. The relationships between aesthetics and literary and artistic criticism. Physical beauty and divine beauty. Harmonious beauty and Dionysian beauty. Monstrosity. The harmony of the heavenly spheres. The “je ne sais quoi.” Beauty as artifice, joke, quotation in the twentieth century. Beauty in the history of art and aesthetics.

Textbook Information

1. Paolo D’Angelo, Estetica, Laterza 2011, ISBN 9788842096061, 244 pp.
2. Umberto Eco, History of Beauty, Rizzoli 2010, ISBN 0847835308, 444 pp.

Paolo D’AngeloEsteticaLaterza20119788842096061
Umberto EcoStoria della bellezzaBompiani20189788845298318

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1The definition of aesthetics1 (chapter 1)
2Aesthetic predicates1 (chapter 2)
3Aesthetic evaluation1 (chapter 3)
4The aesthetic experience1 (chapter 4)
5The origin of art1 (chapter 5)
6Subjectivity, objectivity, intersubjectivity of aesthetic judgment1 (chapter 6)
7Aesthetics as a theory of beauty and its modern overcoming1 (chapter 7)
8Ontology of art1 (chapter 8)
9The classification of the arts1 (chapter 9)
10Autonomy and heteronomy of art1 (chapter 10)
11The future of art1 (chapter 11)
12Art history2 (introduction)
13The aesthetic ideal in ancient Greece2 (chapter 1)
14Beauty as proportion and harmony2 (chapter 3)
15Apollonian and Dionysiac2 (chapter 2)
16The beauty of monsters2 (chapter 5)
17Light and Colour in the Middle Ages2 (chapter 4)
18From the pastourelle to the donna angelicata2 (chapter 6)
19Magic beauty between the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries2 (chapter 7)
20Ladies and heroes2 (chapter 8)
21From grace to disquieting beauty2 (chapter 9)
22Reason and beauty2 (chapter 10)
23The sublime2 (chapter 11)
24Romantic beauty2 (chapter 12)
25The religion of beauty2 (chapter 13)
26The new object2 (chapter 14)
27The beauty of machines2 (chapter 15)
28From abstract forms to the depths of material2 (chapter 16)
29The beauty of the media2 (chapter 17)

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

In what sense is the aesthetic experience always an experience of choice?
In what sense is art autonomous?
Why is beauty not a timeless value?
Why has beauty often been quotation in the twentieth century?