Art and Society – Winter Semester 2010/11
Wednesday 10:50am – 12:25pm Room 426 (Celetna 20, 4th floor)
In this semester-long course, we will be examining intellectual roots of the modern conception of art as aesthetic culture with a distinct role in society – as it was developed in the Western philosophical tradition from the Enlightenment onwards.
We will start by looking at and assessing major philosophical treatments of habit and habituation and its role in the emergence and continuation of political society (understood as a system of habits/social norms). Crucial relevance will be given to a metaphor of society as “second nature”. We will than move on to examine what role art is supposed to play in a society understood as “second nature”.
5 x 1–2-pages-long resumes
In order to pass the course, each student is required to show up regularly and prepared, deliver a 10–15 minutes presentation to the class of one of the texts assigned as required reading and to write five 1-to-2-pages-long resumes of the assigned texts (I accept not more than one resume a week per student, so start soon!). The final exam will consist of three essay questions, students will be expected to answer two out of these.
All the required reading will be made available via moodle. More information and details on the first day of class. If you have any questions regarding anything even vaguely related to the course, contact me via email (see above) or see me after class in room 204.
First week – 6 October
Introduction to the course
Second week – 13 October
The concept of habit and the notion of second nature.
Gilbert Ryle, ‘Chapter II: Knowing How and Knowing That’, in The Concept of Mind (London: Routledge, 2009 , or any other edition).
Félix Ravaisson, Of Habit/De l’habitude (London: Continuum, 2008 ).
Nathan Brett, ‘Human Habits’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1981): 357–76.
Bill Pollard, ‘Explaining Actions with Habits’, American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2006): 57–69.
Clare Carlisle, ‘Creatures of Habit’, Continental Philosophy Review 38 (2006): 19–39.
John McDowell, ‘Two Sorts of Naturalism’, in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1998).
Gerhard Funke and Norbert Rath, ‘Natur, zweite’, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, eds. Gottfried Gabriel, Karlfried Gruender, Joachim Ritter [CD-ROM] (Basel: Schwabe, 2007), 21806–21837.
Third week – 20 October
Aristotelean conception of virtue and habit and its relation to politics.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II (any edition); Politics, Book I (any edition).
Sabina Lovibond, Ethical Formation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2002).
John McDowell, ‘Virtue and Reason’, in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2002).
Martha Nussbaum, ‘The Discernment of Perception’, in Love’s Knowledge (Oxford: OUP, 1990).
David Wiggins, ‘Neo-Aristotelian Reflections on Justice’, Mind 113 (2004): 451–512.
Fourth week – 27 October
Hobbes on the state of nature and the origin of society
Thomas Hobbes, ‘Chapter XVII: Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a Common-Wealth’, in Leviathan (any edition).
Kinch Hoekstra, ‘Hobbes on the Natural Condition of Mankind’, in The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes’s Leviathan, ed. Patricia Springborg (Cambridge: CUP, 2007).
Philip Pettit, ‘Chapter VII: The State of Second, Worded Nature’, in Made with Words (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2008).
Howard Caygill, ‘The Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth’, in Art of Judgement (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).
Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, vol. III: Hobbes and Civil Science (Cambridge: CUP, 2002).
Norberto Bobbio, ‘The Conceptual Model of Natural Law Theory’, in Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).
Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998).
Fifth week – 3 November
Rousseau’s contractarianism and his criticism of culture
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (any edition), Book I.
------, Letter to d’Alembert, in Politics and the Arts, ed. Allan Bloom (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1968), 113–39.
The Second Discourse [on Inequality], Part I (any edition).
Jean Starobinski, La transparence et l’obstacle (Paris: Gallimard, 1971, Eng. trans. Transparency and Obstruction, Chicago: Uni. Of Chicago Press, 1988).
Michael Fried, ‘Appendix B’, in Absorption and Theatricality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980).
Judtith Shklar, Men and Citizens (Cambridge: CUP, 1969).
Allan Bloom, ‘Introduction’, in Politics and the Arts (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1968).
Sixth week – 10 November
Hegel: Habit, Custom and Political Freedom
G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophy of Mind, trans. William Wallace and A. V. Miller, rev. Michael Inwood (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007), §§409–10.
------, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (either Oxford 1991 edition [Nisbet] or Knox’s revised 2008 Cambridge edition), §§142–57.
Alfredo Ferrarin, Hegel and Aristotle (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001), 7, §4 ‘Hegel’s Modernity’.
Michael Hardimon, ‘The Project of Reconciliation’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 21 (1992): 165–95.
Frederick Neuhouser, Foundations of Hegel’s Social Theory: Actualizing Freedom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2000).
Joshua D. Goldstein, ‘The “Bees Problem” in Hegel’s Political Philosophy’, History of Political Thought 25 (2004): 481–507.
Andrew Buchwalter, ‘Hegel’s Concept of Virtue’, Political Theory 20 (1992): 548–83.
Seventh week – 17 November
no class (Freedom Day)
Eighth week – 24 November
Kantian aesthetics and the moral image of the world
Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgement, trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews (Cambridge: CUP, 2000), §§41–50.
Anthony Savile, ‘Imagination and Aesthetic Value’, British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 248–58.
Henry Allison, Kant’s Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (Cambridge: CUP, 2001).
Robert Pippin, ‘Avoiding German Idealism: Kant, Hegel, and the Reflective Judgment Problem’, in Idealism as Modernism:Hegelian Variations (Cambridge: CUP, 1997).
David Bell, ‘The Art of Judgement’, Mind 96 (1987): 221–244.
Paul Guyer, ‘The Symbols of Freedom in Kant’s Aesthetics’, in Values of Beauty: Historical Essays in Aesthetics (Cambridge: CUP, 2005).
John McDowell, ‘Aesthetic Value, Objectivity, and the Fabric of the World’, in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1998), 112–130.
Karl Ameriks, ‘New Views on Kant’s Judgment of Taste’, in Interpreting Kant’s Critiques (Oxford: OUP, 2003).
Dieter Henrich, ‘The Moral Image of the World’, in Aesthetic Judgment and the Moral Image of the World: Studies in Kant (Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1992).
Ninth week – 1 December
Arendt’s conception of ‘second birth’ and cultural reification
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998 ), 167–181.
Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future (any edition).
Hanna Fenichel Pitkin, ‘Rethinking Reification’, Theory and Society 16 (1987): 263–93.
------, The Attack of the Blob (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).
Martin Heidegger, ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’, in Poetry, Language, Thought (New York: Harper, 1971).
Tenth week – 8 December
Lukács on second nature
Georg Lukács, ‘The Epic and the Novel’, in The Theory of the Novel (London: Merlin Press, 1971).
J. M. Bernstein, The Philosophy of the Novel: Lukács, Marxism and the Dialectics of Form (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984).
György Lukács, ‘Aesthetic Culture’, Yale Journal of Criticism 11 (1998): 365–379.
Max Weber, ‘Science as a Vocation’, in The Vocation Lectures (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2004).
Axel Honneth, Reification (Oxford: OUP, 2008).
Eleventh week – 15 December
Adorno on second nature
Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 61–78.
Theodor W. Adorno, ‘The Idea of Natural-History’, in Things Beyond Resemblance: On Theodor W. Adorno by Robert Hullot-Kentor (New York: Columbia UP, 2006, ‘Die Idee der Naturgeschichte’, in Gesammelte Schriften 1: Philosophische Frühschriften, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1973).
------, Negative Dialectics (London: Routledge, 1973), III, 2 ‘World Spirit and Natural History’.
Christoph Menke, ‘On the Negative Logic of Aesthetic Experience’, in The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1998).
Albrecht Wellmer, ‘Truth, Semblance, Reconciliation: Adorno’s Aesthetic Redemption of Modernity’, in The Persistence of Modernity: Essays on Aesthetics, Ethics, and Postmodernism (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991).
Günter Figal, Theodor W. Adorno: Das Naturschöne asl spekulative Gedankenfigur (Bonn: Bouvier, 1977).
Twelfth week – 22 December
(Thirteenth week – 5 January)