About the module

This module is an introduction to philosophy of the arts, which aims to give you a sense of the broad range of topics in this field. As you might expect, philosophy of the arts is a huge area, and it would be impossible to cover all of it in a single module. I have thus chosen a selection of topics that interest me, and I hope you will find them interesting too. Some of these topics are ones that are central to philosophy of the arts as it is covered by the Anglo-American tradition in Philosophy. But we will also touch on some Japanese aesthetics, and consider some issues that arise in connection with so-called traditional art, i.e., that produced by small-scale, largely indigenous societies.

You can get a sense of what we will cover by looking at the readings. I may add to this page as we go along, and you should feel free to investigate any of the topics that interest you for yourself – there is no need to stick to the books and articles I have listed. The items on the reading list are available electronically via the University of Sheffield. The first place you should look for them is through Starplus on the university website. I have also added a few of the readings that are difficult to get hold of in the module dropbox (the link is available in Blackboard).

The ongoing pandemic means that teaching is online. Lectures will be broadcast live, through Blackboard, and you will be able to ask me questions during the lectures. They will be recorded and available in Blackboard along with the slides for revision. Seminars will be online, probably using Google Meet, but I will give you more information about those before they start. If people experience tech/internet problems, we will review these arrangements and come up with an alternative.

If you want to chat to me at any point, you will be able to book a time to have a video chat, or talk on the telephone. I will check in with people regularly to see how you are all doing.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check your university email every day. You should do this anyway, but it’s even more important at the moment as it is the only way I have to contact you.