English 250

Research Seminar: Philosophy and the Arts

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Altieri, Charles F.
Altieri, Charles
M 3-6 108 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

There will be an elaborate reader. In addition, students will be asked to buy Spinoza’s Ethics, Altieri’s The Particulars of Rapture, and Buat, The Emotions: Art and Ethics. Then by the third week we will have to buy many of the texts students choose to work with. I will Xerox the relevant passages from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (Miller translation) but I envision it being used enough to merit students' buying it.


This course will try to relate the concept of sensuousness to the roles the affects can play in aesthetic experience.  The first half of the course will be devoted to familiarizing ourselves with basic concepts that establish a language for characterizing a range of affective experiences and connecting them to concerns for the values within what we are doing as well as the values that they might help establish beyond art.  Then there begins the hard work. Students will be asked to chose a text—a novel or play or movie or series of poems—and present the text in class by exploring what it is possible to claim about distinctive aspects of its engagement with concerns about affects we have developed.  Conversation will focus on what problems the critic faces in applying this critical perspective to making claims about the significance of particular works of art.

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