CUL108 - Philosophy of Art (Aesthetics)

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-01 14:36:20.143
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:01.447

Subject Title
Philosophy of Art (Aesthetics)

Subject Description
This course will introduce the student to mimetic theories in philosophy of art.  The course is designed as an introduction to the concepts of art, aesthetics, nature and experience as the subject of artworks, and the place of art in life and society.

Credit Status
One General Education Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1.  Recognize the major problems of philosophy of art and aesthetics.
2.  Recognize the major areas of art.
3.  Recognize major problems of taste, criticism and judgement.
4.  Recognize major schools of western aesthetics.
5.  Recognize other schools of aesthetics.
6.  Recognize major problems of the interpretation of art.
7.  Recognize major problems of classification of art.
8.  Recognize and understand basic concepts of art.
9.  Recognize and understand pragmatic theories of art.
10. Understand major topics in contemporary aesthetics.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • Nature and a scope of philosophy of art                   
  • The work of art                                                                     
  • Taste, criticism and judgement                     
  • The development of Western aesthetics 
  • Other schools of aesthetics           
  • The interpretation of art 
  • The mediums of art                                                         
  • Basic concepts of art
  • Pragmatic theories of art
  • Conclusion and evaluation   

Mode of Instruction
Online: All class work is completed in a fully online environment. Students do not attend any classes on campus; however, the final exam must be written in-person at the Test Centre.

* Students interested in pursuing  online courses must have strong time management skills and regular access to a home or office computer with an Internet connection and web access.

Prescribed Texts

Reference Material
Adorno, T.W. Aesthetic Theory trans, by G. Lenhard (1984)
Collingwood, R.G., The Principles of Art (1938)
Croce Benedetto, Aesthetic (1909)
Dewey John, Art as Experience (1934)
Kant Immanuel, Critique of Judgement (1790)
Santayana George, The Sense of Beauty, New York (1896)

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.
Term work:

All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned. 


Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:
Discussion Groups 40%
Midterm quiz 20%
Final Essay 40%

Student Success:


Please access the course every week (or more) and keep up with assigned readings. Make sure you participate in online discussions and hand in any assigned work on time. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Students should keep all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade. Students may appeal any final grade in a subject or any decision by the College, following the recommendation of the Promotion Committee, with respect to the student's academic standing, continuation or status in a program, School, Faculty or the College.  It is the policy of the College that a student who invokes this appeal process will be given a fair hearing.  For further information on appeals, please see Section 12 of the Academic Policy Handbook.


Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood