Dr. Cockeys Office Hours:
Dr. Hatleys Office Hours: MTuW 4:15-5:15 pm
Course Description: This course will focus on a series of philosophers who address the arts, as well as to specific works of art that might help us to understand the ideas of these philosophers. Philosophers have turned to the arts to reflect upon themes pivotal to our human existence: a) Why do we desire the beautiful and what does it mean to contemplate beauty?; 2) How does ugliness, as well as catastrophic or monstrous events, find significance in our lives?; 3) How do pain and suffering find a transformed expression in the work of art?; 4) How does artistic form and rhythm reflect spiritual dimensions of our existence?; 5) How does art encourage philosophical questioning through inviting us to wonder at the simple fact of seeing and hearing? Often in courses of this type, discussion is promoted by either a practicing artist or a reflective thinker. In our effort, were bringing to two together to see what can happen. Music, cinema, visual arts and literature will all be considered in pursuing our philosophical investigation.
The Nature of Art: An Anthology (AS), Thomas Wartenberg
All the Worlds Mornings (WMN), Pascal Quignard (Xeroxed)
Four Essays from Questions about Music, Roger Sessions (Xeroxed)
One Novel from the List below for the Novel/Film Presentation
Persona, Ingmar Bergman (
Single, White, Female, Barbet Schroeder (
All the Worlds Mornings, Alain Corneau (
Schindler's List, Spielberg (
On Library Reserve:
The Significance of Film Form from Film Art: An Introduction, (FA), Bordwell and Thompson
The Unanswered Question: Six
"What Novels Can Do That Films Can't (and Vice Versa), Chatman
Music: A View from
Form and the Divine Proportion
8 (out of 11!!!!) weekly questions: 16%
Response Paper 1: 20%
Response Paper 2: 20%
Response Paper 3: 20%
Class Presentation on Novel and Film: 20%
TYPING: All Papers turned in for a grade in this class must be typed. No exceptions will be made to this rule. Any paper handed in that is untyped will receive an incomplete until it is typed. If it remains untyped, the paper will be graded as an F.
Writing Across the Curriculum: This class emphasizes both discussion and writing as ways of learning. In addition to the assignments listed below, you will be asked to participate in a variety of in-class discussion and writing exercises that will emphasize collaborative and cooperative learning.
Response Papers: Response papers are the principal manner in which your grade will be determined. They will be assigned roughly every four weeks and require that you write a four page essay in which you will respond thoughtfully to a question pertaining to what we have been reading and discussing in class. A response paper should make use of citations from the text(s) appropriate to the question to be answered. In a response paper you are to give reasons for any position you take. The question "Why?" should always be in the back of your mind as you write.
NOVEL/FILM PRESENTATION: Students will work in groups of four to give a presentation during our last two classes of around 20 minutes in length. The presentation will analyze the differing manners in which a film and the novel on which it was based bring us, the reader or viewer, to aesthetic insight.
List of Novels and Films:
1) Interview with a Vampire (Anne Rice and Neil Jordan)
Girl with a
4) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee and Robert Mulligan)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (
The Accidental Tourist (Anne
7) Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen and Joe Wright)
9) Hillary and Jackie (Jaickie/Piers Du Pré (A Genius in the Family) and Anand Tucker)
11) Amadeus (Peter Shaffer and
HONOR CODE: Each written assignment should be accompanied by the following statement, dated and signed by the student: This assignment was written entirely by me in my own words, except for quotations from and references to another persons work, which I have been careful to point out. I have in no way made use of the words or ideas of other persons without attribution.
Week 1 (8/31): What is Aesthetics?
Film Viewing: Persona
Lecture: Discussion of Film Aesthetics
Week 2 (9/7): Low Art and High Art?
Reading Assignment: The Significance of the Film Form (On Library Reserve)
Film Viewing: Single White Female
Week 3 (9/14): Art for Arts Sake, or Not?
Reading Assignment: NA Kant and Tolstoy, pp. 49-63; pp. 102-109. Powerpoint on Kant and Tolstoy
Web Summary: Go To: Kant
Response Paper I: Using Kant as your guide, compare and contrast the aesthetic response elicited by SWF with that by Persona. Which film is more artful and why? In answering this question, you should make use of key Kantian concepts such as aesthetic judgment, taste, feeling, beauty, disinterested interest, genius, the sublime and the like. You may also want to dwell on how Persona seems to adopt an aesthetic that is at odds with the beautiful and is more at home in the sublime. You can also turn to Tolstoy to help out your analysis. Persona Images
Audition: Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra (Benjamin Britten), Folk Music
Week 5 (9/28): Musical Evening: Music as Significant Form NOTES
Audition: Mozarts Symphony # 40 in g minor, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik (Mozart), Bolero (Ravel), Midsummers Night Dream (Mendelssohn), Beethovens Fifth Symphony in c minor
Week 6 (10/5): A Cinematic Rendering of the Viola da Gamba
Reading Assignment: Performing Music and Composing Music, Roger Sessions
Film Viewing: All the Mornings of the World
Audition: Viola da Gamba
Weeek 7 (10/12): Literary and Musical Evening: All the Worlds Mornings
Reading Assignment: All the Worlds Mornings (Pascal Quignard) Power Point
RESPONSE PAPER II: Film vs. Novel: An Assessment of Aesthetic Strengths and Weaknesses. Compare the novel and the film All the Worlds Mornings in regard to their aesthetic qualities. Pay attention to the possibilities each medium brings to the aesthetic experience. Evaluate which work of art you consider more successful., or whether that judgment in this particular case is impossible (and why!).
Week 8 (10/19): Art as Imitation, Art as Truth
Reading Assignment: Aristotle and Heidegger (pp. 26-39; pp. 149-170).
Week 9 (10/26): Film Viewing: Schindlers List (3 hours!)
Reading Assignment: Reviews of Schindler List (Library Reserve)
Week 10 (11/2): Can the Holocaust be a Mimesis?
RESPONSE PAPER III: Is Schindlers List a successful mimesis of the Holocaust? Schindler's List at least in part adopts an Aristotelian aesthetic of imitation and catharsis. Discuss how this is so and whether this aesthetic can respond appropriately to the Holocaust.
Week 11 (11/09): Art Transcending the World, or Not?
Reading Assignment; NA, Plato and Nietzsche, pp. 49-63; pp. 84-101.
Week 12 (11/16): Musical Evening: Music and the Sacred, Rhythm in Music
Reading Assignment: Form and the Divine Propotion (On Library Reserve)
Years of Pilgrimage (Franz Liszt); Requiems (Mozart and Brahams), Missa
Solemnis (Beethoven), Wozzeck (Alban Berg), Threnody for the Victims of
Week 13 (11/30): Film and Novel Presentations
Week 14 (12/7): Film and Novel Presentations