PHEB801 Philosophy of Art


Art has constantly been in the scope of philosopher’s investigations since Plato. What is Art? Why do we participate in such a complex activity? What kind of knowledge does Art communicate between people? What is its social purpose? These are only few questions opening the philosophical interest towards the Arts. The aim of the course is to present the students with some of the main aesthetic theories of Art. Key concepts and text are introduced throughout the course. The seminars give the students an opportunity to engage in the analysis of particular works of art applying the learnt concepts and ideas.

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Assoc. Prof. Iassen Zahariev, PhD

Course Description:


Successful graduates of the course students:

1) know:

• Different strategies in identifying works of Arts.

• Key aesthetic theories of Art.

• Basic concepts in Philosophy of Art.

2) can:

• Apply different theories and concepts in the analysis of works of Arts.

• Evaluate works of Art.

• Communicate about various aspects of Arts .


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. Philosophy of Art. Scope and Context.
  2. Aesthetic theories of Art
  3. Art as “mimesis”.
  4. Theories of representation
  5. Yves Klein and the Antropometries
  6. Representation in different Arts
  7. Beauty, Ugliness and Pleasure in Arts
  8. Art and Expression
  9. Theories of Expression
  10. Originality and Imagination
  11. Understanding Art
  12. Art and Knowledge in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.
  13. Evaluating Art. The Problem of Taste.
  14. Art and Emotion
  15. The Value of Art


Aristotle, Atherton, P., Baxter, J., & Whalley, G. 1997. Aristotle's Poetics. Montreal: MQUP.

Adorno, T. 2004. Aesthetic Theory. London: Continuum.

Carroll, N. 1999. Philosophy of Art : A Contemporary Introduction. London: Routledge

Dewey, J. 1934. Art as Experience. N.Y: Minton Balch.

Eldridge, R. T. 2003. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goodman, N. 1976. The Languages of Art. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.

Hegel. G.W.F. 1979. Introduction to Aesthetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Hume, d. 1993. Selected Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kant. I. 1952. The Critique of Judgement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Matravers, D. 2014. Introducing Philosophy of Art : In Eight Case Studies. London: Routledge.

Plato, & Waterfield, R. 1998. Republic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schelling, W. F. J. 1989. Philosophy of Art. Minnesota: University of Minnesota.

Scruton, R. 2009. Beauty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Mid-semester exams:

1. Analysis;

2. Annotation;

End-semester exam:

1. Presentation;

2. Discussion.