PHIL 242: Philosophy of Art

Spring Semester 2013 | Evening | Burnaby


INSTRUCTOR: J. Warriner, WMC 5607 (


Why do we classify some objects as “art” and others as “furniture?” What qualities must an object possess in order to be called “art?” Must art be beautiful? Can art disgust us? Who gets to decide this and why? What role should art play in society? Are horror films art? Does gender play a role in creating art? In this class, we will be considering these kinds of questions (and more) through classical and contemporary philosophical theories of art.


  • Aesthetics: The Big Questions, Carolyn Korsmeyer, ed. ISBN: 978-0631205944
  • Arguing about Art, Third Edition, Alex Neill and Aaron Ridley, eds. ISBN: 978-0415424516
  • The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art, Guerrilla Girls ISBN: 978-0140259971


  • 2 papers (one worth 20% and one worth 30%) -  50%
  • Short writing assignments - 20%
  • Registrar-scheduled final exam - 30%
  • Students must submit papers to

  Philosophy 242 has no prerequisites and may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts