San José State University Philosophy Department Philosophy 106, Philosophy of Art, Fall 2015
3x5 Card. Please return to me the 3x5 card with a realistic photograph of yourself on one side, and your name and a short autobiography on the other. I realize that "realistic" is a philosophically debatable issue: what I want is a photograph or photocopy of a photograph that looks like you as you look today -- one that would help me to recognize you (a photocopy of your student ID might work).Let me know about any experience you have had, or expertise you have with the arts, whether fine or popular. Also, I am interested in any experience you have had with philosophy.
Faculty Web Page
Copies of the course syllabus, major assignment sheets, and course handouts may be found on my faculty web page accessible through the quick links/faculty web page links on the SJSU home page after the first week of classes. The web site for the class is at http://www.sjsu.edu/people/thomas.leddy/ or just go to sjsu.edu, then Faculty and Staff, then to me, and then bookmark the site. Also, you can just google my name to find it. “Guidelines for Writing Papers in Philosophy” is also posted there, as well as relevant links, including to my “Aesthetics Today” blog. http://aestheticstoday.blogspot.com/
If you download the electronic version of this syllabus you can simply put your cursor on one of the links and hit Control/click and, if you are connected to the web, you will go directly to the site listed.
The Philosophy Department web-site is http://www.sjsu.edu/philosophy/ There is also a page for me there with a link to my faculty web page.
Philosophy of art covers philosophical issues related to the various arts. It is closely related to (and sometimes identified with) the sub-discipline of aesthetics. Aesthetics deals not only with the aesthetics of art but also with the aesthetics of nature and the aesthetics of everyday life. In this class we will discuss such questions as: What is art? What is the function of art? What is the creative process? What is beauty? What is aesthetics and what role does it play in art experience? What role does expression play in art? What is the relation between art and morality? Can art give us knowledge? Are there any principles of taste? What is the meaning of a work of art? The arts we will discuss include painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, literature, film and others. The two textbooks by Freeland and Korsmeyer will provide the basic structure for the class. About halfway through the class we will read selections form Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment. Typical sessions will include a combination of lecture, general discussion and small group discussion. Classes will be illustrated with slides, videos and music.
1. To gain an understanding of the philosophy of art and aesthetics: its problems and possible solutions.
2. To learn what important thinkers of the past and present have had to say about the nature of art and other issues of philosophy of art and aesthetics.
3. To expand your understanding of art and the creative process.
4. To improve your ability to write and think critically and creatively.
5. To develop your own philosophy of art.
6. To generate a deeper understanding of the role that art and aesthetics play in human existence.
This heading must read exactly as shown above, “Student Learning Objectives.” Please do not edit it.
Be sure to bring copies of each text to class for each class session.
Cynthia Freeland. But is it Art? An Introduction to Art Theory (Oxford University Press, 2002)
Aesthetics: The Big Questions ed. Carolyn Korsmeyer (Blackwell, 1998)
We will be reading the Meredith translation of Immanuel Kant’s “The Analytic of the Beautiful” from his Critique of Judgment. I didn’t order this since it is readily available online for free. It can be found at http://denisdutton.com/kant_third_critique.htm This document is 134 pages long when printed, so if you print it all off you will use a lot of paper. Please print just the first 35 pages which constitute “The Analytic of the Beautiful.” Alternatively you can either check out a copy of Kant’s Critique of Judgment from the library or purchase a copy online. You can get the Meredith translation in a Kindle edition for 2.99. Or you can purchase just The Analytic of the Beautiful. It is OK to use other translations.
Most of the supplementary readings will be from the latest edition of The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, which is available online by way of the library. http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/record=b4969786~S1
Attendance You should attend all meetings of the class because you will benefit from my explanation of the materials, from class discussion, and from viewing and listening to the examples of works of art brought into class to illustrate philosophical points. Active participation is essential to a philosophy class. Good attendance helps you to get into the spirit of philosophical dialogue. It will help in Class Participation and Exams portions of the grade.
Class Manners Students should be aware of and practice basic university class etiquette. You should turn off phones unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. If you think you will need to leave the class early please let me know about it at the beginning of the class and sit near the door so as to leave unobtrusively. You should not eat, sleep, play with phones or other gadgets, use offensive language, or talk out of turn in class. You should not use a computer for activities unrelated to the class. At all times show courtesy to your teacher and to other students. Students who are disruptive will be asked to leave the class.
Tardiness. It is not acceptable to arrive late to class. If there is some special circumstance that will mean that you will be late to class or leave early, please let me know.
Incompletes. I will only give an incomplete if you request it, have a good reason, and have completed at least half of the course-work for the course.
University Homework Policy. “Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.” That comes to an average of six hours of homework/study per week for this class.
Dropping and Adding
You are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. found at http://www.sjsu.edu/studentaffairs/
Assignments and Grading Policy
15% First Term Paper Due Sept. 30
15% Second Term Paper Due Nov. 16
30% Three Quizzes
10% Class Participation
15% Final Exam
The course grade will be an average of these grades based on these percentages.
I will assign you partners and presentation dates in the second week of class.
Class participation may include comments made and questions raised in class, participation in small group discussions, discussions with me or with other students outside of class or on the web. In-class writing assignments are included. You will evaluate yourself for class participation once half-way through the class and once at the end of the class and I will take these self-evaluations into consideration.
Rubric for Class Participation Grading: This rubric draws from John C. Bean and Dean Peterson, “Grading Classroom Participation,” accessed Aug. 17, 2011 http://www.csufresno.edu/academics/documents/participation/grading_class_participation.pdf
A student receiving an A comes to class prepared; contributes readily to the conversation but doesn’t dominate it: makes thoughtful contributions that advance the conversation; shows that he/she has read and thought about the reading assignment; shows an eagerness to engage in philosophical discussion; shows interest in and respect for others’ views; participates actively in small groups: turns in all in-class writing assignments and gets P+ on some.
All students are required to come by my office during my office hour at least once during the semester.
I will often have students do writing in class. This will be turned in and will be grade Pass/Fail.
Quizzes. There will be three short essay quizzes.
Final Exam. The final exam will be essay. I will give you the essay question a week ahead of time. The exams will be open book, open note-book. Please bring a bluebook or two.
Extra Credit. This would involve writing a critical discussion of an article in one of the aesthetics journals or a chapter in a book on aesthetics or the philosophy of art. Please attach a copy of the article or chapter to the paper if it would not be easily available to me. I give extra credit points based on how much thinking I believe you have put into the project. Extra Credit projects may be turned in any time up until the last instruction day.
Plagiarism. If you plagiarize on any assignment I will follow university policy which will involve at a minimum an F on that assignment and, in the case of more than one instance, failure in the class and expulsion from the university. If you do not understand the concept of plagiarism take the tutorial at http://tutorials.sjlibrary.org/tutorial/plagiarism/ See also “Academic Integrity” below.
How to Write A classic is William Strunk, The Elements of Style, is available free on-line at http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html
Citations, footnotes, bibliography
How to do citations. I expect proper citations in papers. Please follow the Chicago Manual or MLA style. Chicago style can be found here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. See also my own abridged version of this on my web page. Do not use APA or AMA Style. You can use either footnotes or endnotes. You should know how to insert footnotes in your word-processing program. I will show students how to insert footnotes in Microsoft Word in class. Notes should be numbered consecutively. If you are getting information from one of the journals that the SJSU library provides on-line do not cite the web site, the library, the URL, the access date or the database.
In Chicago style, journal citations in a bibliography look like this: Weinstein, Joshua I. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology 104 (2009): 439–58. Books and Journal titles are in italics. Classical Philology is the title of a journal. The number “104” in this instance refers to the volume. The number “439-58” refers to the page numbers covering the entire article. The footnote citation would look like this: (the footnote number will appear automatically when it insert it in WORD) Joshua I. Weinstein, “The Market in Plato’s Republic,” Classical Philology 104 (2009): 440. The “440” refers to the page in which the quotation cited appeared. A typical citation of a book looks like this: Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. “New York” is the place of publication (found behind the title page), “Penguin” is the publisher, “2006” is the copyright date. The copyright date is usually found either at the bottom of the title page or behind that page. It often has a C with a circle around it.
In order to access electronic materials relevant to this course go to SJLibrary.org, then to “Articles and Databases,” then to “SJSU Subjects,” then down the alphabet to “Philosophy.” You can go to the Philosophy page directly here: http://libguides.sjsu.edu/content.php?pid=61925
On the “Philosophy” page you will find, among other things, the Philosopher's Index. You will need your student ID number and your library pin to access this. This is one of the main research tools in philosophy. It indexes nearly all articles and books in philosophy since, I believe, the 1940s. There are short descriptions of most of the articles. You can search by typing in the name of the author, title, or subject matter. For instance, you could write in "Dance" and it would reveal all articles written by philosophers on dance, and many books as well. To narrow a search, simply add another term, for example “Kant.” You can fine-tune your search (for example, limiting it to all entries after 2000) by clicking on “Advanced Search.”
In the Library Philosophy Guide page, under “Newspapers, Magazines and Journals,” you will also find a list of journals in philosophy. There is also information about citing sources and some links to reputable web sites devoted to philosophy.
To access these resources from on or off campus you only need your library card number and your library PIN number.
JSTOR is my favorite electronic data base. It includes not only several philosophy journals including The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and the Journal of Aesthetic Education. To limit your search to these journals you need to click on advanced search and then put in the key word, for example “Clive Bell,” and then click on the plus sign next to Education, then click on Journal of Aesthetic Education, then go to Philosophy and click the plus sign, and then go to Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and click on that. A great thing about JSTOR is that you can search every use of a particular word. For instance you might be interested in what aestheticians have had to say about “disinterestedness” or “rap.” Unfortunately JSTOR offers full-text journal articles only up to a few years ago. However, more recent materials can often be found on-line through other library databases and in print in the library. You can also do research in various arts categories. Another excellent database is Project Muse.
Full-Text Electronic Resources at the MLK Library: Aesthetics Journals. Go to the library catalog and type in the name of the journal. It may be easier to use the “classic” mode of the library catalog at http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/search where you can select journals on the left and then type in the journal name. Often, the journal will exist in physical form in the basement as well as in electronic form. Sometimes a specific article you are looking for will only be accessible in the physical form (this is especially true for older issues), but usually it can be found in a digital form. The journal in the digital form is listed under “electronic resource” or “digital resources.” This may appear six or seven items down in your search results when using the regular catalog.
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism [This is available since its origin to about five years ago through JSTOR. More recent issues are available through other electronic databases, the most recent through Wiley Online].
British Journal of Aesthetics [1995-current various electronic data bases, but before 1995, only the physical form]
Philosophy of music education review [electronic 2001-current]
Leonardo This journal describes itself as “the leading international journal for readers interested in the application of contemporary science and technology to the arts and music. Each volume includes a special issue produced in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts of New York and devoted to the School's annual Digital Salon Exhibit.” [1968-present through various databases]
Philosophy and Literature [1976-2011 Project Muse and Arts and Humanities]
The Journal of Aesthetic Education is a highly respected interdisciplinary journal that focuses on clarifying the issues of aesthetic education understood in its most extensive meaning. [1966- current JSTOR, Project Muse, and other databases]
The library also has a journal in psychology called Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. [PsycArticles 2006-present] This journal is published by the American Psychological Association and is only available electronically.
Direct-access on-line aesthetics journals:
Contemporary Aesthetics is an international, interdisciplinary, online journal
of contemporary theory, research, and application in aesthetics. The articles in this journal are relatively easy. http://www.contempaesthetics.org/
Canadian Aesthetics Journal: The Electronic Journal of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics
On-Line Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics “The aim of this journal is to offer postgraduates [what we call “graduate students”] interested in aesthetics a space not only to exchange ideas, but also to foster a resource that will promote high quality essays relevant to postgrads’ interests. The journal will be published three times annually, in April, August and December. Essays are invited from postgraduate students on any topic in aesthetics. http://www.pjaesthetics.org/index.php/pjaesthetics
Asage http://www.asage.org/index.php/ASAGE ASAGE is an electronic graduate journal sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetics. We publish high caliber work in philosophy of the arts written by graduate students.
Film-Philosophy http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p is an international peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to philosophically discussing film studies, aesthetics and world cinema.
London Aesthetics Forum http://www.londonaestheticsforum.org/
The British Society for Aesthetics web site is at http://www.british-aesthetics.org
Newsletter for the American Society for Aesthetics http://www.aesthetics-online.org/ This is also the web site for the American Society for Aesthetics, the leading society of English-speaking aestheticians.
An interesting web site is Axis: The Online Resource for Contemporary Art. http://www.axisweb.org/dlHOME.aspx
more sites in art theory and art criticism may be found at http://www.zeroland.co.nz/art_theory.html Zeroland: Art Theory, Art Criticism, Art Theorists, Art Criticism, Semiotics, Théorie de l'art: A Comprehensive Website Directory
A list of aesthetics journals, including ones in Spanish, German and French, and links to them appears at http://www.aesthetics-online.org/net/journals.php
The best online encyclopedia is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/ It contains several major aesthetics articles on such figures and schools as Kant, Nietzsche, Hume, Dewey, and Feminist Aesthetics.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is also good. Here is their article on aesthetics: http://www.iep.utm.edu/aestheti/
If you look for a book in the catalog and our library doesn’t have it, go to the right and click on LINK+ If it is there you can order it through that system. The book comes in one to two weeks. It can be delivered to any library in the San Jose city system. I use this all the time.
If you want a photocopy of an article in a journal not accessed by our library or a book not available through out library or LINK+ go to Interlibrary Services (also online at the library site). You will need to get an account with them. These may take up to a month, and it might be easier to go to another college library. http://library.sjsu.edu/interlibrary-services/interlibrary-services-formerly-interlibrary-loan
A number of encyclopedia and dictionaries are listed under Background and Reference Sources in the Library Philosophy Guide. In addition, for aesthetics, there is.
The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics on the second floor of the library BH56 .E53 1998 This is the most comprehensive encyclopedia dealing with aesthetics and Philosophy of Art. WE HAVE RECENTLY ACQUIRED THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THE LATEST EDITION OF THIS. http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/record=b4969786~S1
A Companion to Aesthetics on the sixth floor BH56 .C65 2009
Routledge Companion to Aesthetics on the sixth floor BH21 .R68 2001
Santa Clara University library is just a few miles away. You do not have to be a Santa Clara University student to use the library, although you cannot check books out. Other good libraries relatively nearby are at California State University East Bay and UCSC.
My favorite bookstore around here for philosophy is Stanford University Bookstore. Barnes and Noble on Stevens Creek is also pretty good. My favorite used bookstore is Recycled Books on the Alameda in San Jose and in Campbell. Further away, I like Moe’s on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, University Press Books on Bancroft in Berkeley, Green Apple Books on Clement Street in San Francisco, and City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco (associated with the beatniks of the 1950s!). For aesthetics and philosophy of art I also like the various art museum bookstores in the Bay Area, especially the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (unfortunately closed for renovation). If you are looking for books on architecture, the best is William Stout Architectural Books 804 Montgomery in San Francisco. My favorite on-line bookstore is Amazon.com
Library Books. Most of the books on Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art are clustered in the B section of the library on the 6th floor. However, there are others in other parts of the library related to the various arts.
Students are expected to be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Please review this at. “Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University’s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical development.”
Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. “If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.”
Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the DRC (Disability Resource Center) to establish a record of their disability.
Special accommodations for exams require ample notice to the testing office and must be submitted to the instructor well in advance of the exam date.
Student Technology Resources
Computer labs for student use are available in the new Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Additional labs that may be available to students in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library.
A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, screens and monitors.
Located in the Faculty Office Building across from my office. The Philosophy Center has varied hours but is generally open 9-5 M-TH. You can get help there is writing and rewriting your papers.
Students qualify for ASPIRE if they are low income, first generation in college (neither parent has a degree from an accredited four year U.S. college or university), or registered with a disability hindering academic performance. http://www.sjsu.edu/aspire/ (408) 924-2540. ASPIRE offers the Peer Writing Tutorial Program. Here, students will engage in the following: Discuss, brainstorm, and generate ideas for outlines plans and drafts. Clarify thesis, organize, revise , and ask questions. Work on mechanics: punctuation, spelling and more. Work on writing clear, effective sentences and more.
Learning Assistance Resource Center
The Learning Assistance Resource Center is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic potential and to motivate them to become self-directed learners. The center provides support services, such as skills assessment, individual or group tutorials, subject advising, learning assistance, summer academic preparation and basic skills development. The Learning Assistance Resource Center is located in Room 600 in the Student Services Center.
SJSU Writing Center
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provides psychological and educational counseling to assist you in becoming successful graduates of San José State University. Trained counselors and staff are ready to assist you with a wide range of issues. If you would like to speak to them directly, please call (408) 924-5910, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm, or write San José State University, Counseling Services, One Washington Square, Administration Building, Room 201-0035. http://www.sjsu.edu/counseling/
There is an active philosophy club on campus and at least two others in the South Bay Area. You should consider participating in their events. I will announce some in class. You can learn about the Philosophy Department Philosophy Club by looking at the Philosophy Department Web Site. http://www.sjsu.edu/philosophy/
Philosophy of Art/106 Course Schedule
Readings should be completed on the dates on which they will be discussed. The dates given below are deadlines for completing the readings. This schedule may be revised at some point in the semester: for example I may add or subtract readings.
A NOTE ON READINGS: You will gain more from the readings if you read them at least twice. First reading: try to get the main ideas -- don't worry too much about details. Bracket or underline key passages or words. Make notes in the margins or in a notebook about your reactions. Second reading: fill in the details and synthesize the whole in your mind. It is often useful to outline the text. (Computers provide outlining options. Word for Windows has it under "Format.") What ideas do you find valuable? What do you agree with or disagree with? Do you see any specific problems with the arguments offered? Do the abstract ideas presented adequately handle the concrete examples given? Think of questions to ask the writer, and then try to answer the questions based on the text. Expect a philosophy reading to take longer to complete than readings in most other disciplines.
Although we will be following the two texts in order I will also make supplemental reading assignments as well go either in order to provide a contrasting position or to update the material with a more recent contribution.
I put date of publication after works. Although we will not be reading chronologically this semester I will constantly refer to where reading selections are situated historically, for example how they are set up as in response to previous writings. Since our texts are from 1998 and 2002 a lot of the supplementary material will relate to more contemporary debates.
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