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Unit of study_

PHIL2618: Aesthetics and Art

2024 unit information

Why is art important to us What is an aesthetic response to something What is the relation between art and aesthetics Is there such a thing as objective interpretation of an artwork Or is it all a matter of taste Should we believe in 'the death of the author' What is the relation between art and representation, expression and emotion We shall discuss these and other questions (eg. modernity, metaphor) from the perspective of an historical approach to the philosophical study of aesthetics and art.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code PHIL2618
Academic unit Philosophy
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Philosophy or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Art History
PHIL2518 or PHIL3681
Assumed knowledge:

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. This unit of study will acquaint students with contemporary ways of approaching and understanding art philosophically. Students will critically engage with key texts from historical and modern sources in the philosophy of art. This course will challenge students to ask what art is, how to and why it matters to us. Generically, this unit of study will impart new understandings of art and its philosophy, enhance reflective thinking skills, and enhance the ability to speak and write analytically, independently, and clearly.
  • LO2. 2. Identify, formulate and assess philosophical problems and demonstrate an understanding of important conceptual distinctions.
  • LO3. 3. Demonstrate disciplinary expertise in several major areas of philosophy, such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, the history of philosophy, logic, metaphysics, theories of the self, philosophy of science, and political philosophy.
  • LO4. Express themselves precisely and demonstrate an ability to make rationally persuasive arguments.
  • LO5. Demonstrate sensitivity, intellectual honesty, generosity and cultural competence in interpretation and argument.
  • LO6. Effectively apply philosophical knowledge and approaches to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context
  • LO7. Read, understand and critically engage with philosophical texts both historical and contemporary.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.