2nd degree (Master)
german, russian & east european studies
Prof Birgit Erdle
DAAD Walter Benjamin Chair
Coordinator Office Hours:
Monday, 14:30 - 16:00, and by appointment
Prof Birgit Erdle
In the 18th century, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten established the philosophical discipline of aesthetics, to stand alongside the discipline of logic as a distinct branch of philosophy. He regarded aesthetics as a theory of sensuous cognition. This was new: the idea that not just reason, but our senses, too, could generate knowledge and understanding, that sensory and rational perception had equal value. Immanuel Kant thought of aesthetics in terms of experience. His theory of aesthetic experience forms the basis of an approach to aesthetic experience as something that happens between object and subject, not within the subject alone. At the same time, Kant places emphasis on the form of the object.
The course will introduce the theory of aesthetic experience and the questions involved. Reading will include Baumgarten, Kant, Mendelssohn, Goethe, Nietzsche, Adorno, and also a number of literary texts. A core aspect will be temporality.
The course will introduce the theory of aesthetic experience and the questions involved.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Understand and be familiar with core texts of aesthetic theory (18th to 20th century)
Critically discuss arguments, thought figures and issues raised in those texts
Understand and contextualize the term 'sensuous cognition'
Explain and contextualize categories like 'judgment' and 'taste'
Discuss aesthetic theory in a historical perspective
Reflect on the moral and political implications of aesthetic values like 'beautiful', 'ugly', 'disgusting'
Interpret primary texts and critically evaluate arguments in secondary texts
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
2 hours seminar
Reading will include:
Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten,
Theodor W. Adorno,
and also a number of literary texts
primary and secondary literature will be provided
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 40 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 30 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 30 %
Activity in seminar discussion