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The Philosophy of Art

Late twentieth-century art has insistently challenged us to come to terms with our understanding of the very nature of the art work. This course is a survey of the major theories of the nature of art, with special emphasis on the views that art is a matter of representing or imitating reality, that art is a form of catharsis, that art is a matter of the expression of emotion, that art is a special kind of symbolic form. It also addresses such questions as the role of art history in a theory of aesthetic interpretation, the problem of forgery, the issue of artistic responsibility and the recent debates over censorship of the arts.

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