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CLS2280 - The Fate of Art: Philosophical Aesthetics and Contemporary Culture

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Alison Ross


Not offered in 2007


In this unit we will examine the philosophical and institutional background to some of the significant movements in twentieth century art practice. After a brief examination of modern philosophical accounts of a crisis of cultural value in Kant and Hegel we will consider the implications of this crisis for modes of artistic representation and content, as well as twentieth century models of theoretical explanation for the significance of the arts. Works to be examined will include selections from Freud, Lyotard, Derrida, Bourdieu and Burger.


On the successful completion of this subject students:

  1. Should have learned how to read and critically appraise some of the canonical texts on contemporary culture.
  2. They should be able to situate texts on culture within their philosophical and historical context.
  3. They should be able to use the terminology of aesthetic philosophy with confidence.
  4. And make their writing responsive to the issues considered in the subject.


Essay (2,250 words): 45%
Exam (2,250 words equivalent): 45%
Seminar presentation: 10%

Contact hours

2.5 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1.5 hour seminar) per week