Winter Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
English 210: 
Seminar (Eng 210/Philosophy 213):  Kantian Aesthetics:  From the Beautiful to the Sublime

This seminar will propose an in-depth interrogation of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790) , his so-called “Third” Critique, which aims to bridge the gap between “pure reason” and “practical reason,” the subject matter respectively of his first two “critiques” (1781, 1788).  In other words, how can the mental faculty of the understanding be reconciled with that of the will, cognition with moral action, epistemology with ethics?  The Third Critique posits judgment, not as another faculty, but as a separate power (Kraft) that can adjudicate the other faculties of the mind.  However, it turns out that this power is realized most evidently in the realm of aesthetics, divided in Kant’s thinking between the feeling of the beautiful and that of the sublime.  The aim of the seminar, beyond the explication of Kant’s aesthetic categories per se, is to raise the question of why or how the aesthetic sentiment should serve as the condition of philosophical reflection, and in turn, how that philosophical grounding should inflect the subsequent development of art in its myriad forms during the rise of modernity and the so-called avant-garde.  To what extent does Kant, in a dramatic departure from the Platonic tradition, legitimize various non-representational concepts of art?  What does it mean when he defines aesthetic judgment paradoxically as “subjectively universal”? Or, the aesthetic object, via another paradox, as something exhibiting “purposiveness without a purpose”? And how is it that while the beautiful emerges as the contained and pleasurable “free play” of the imagination with the understanding, the sublime underwrites their explosive dissonance in the “unpleasure” of the incomprehensible or the unimaginable?  Finally, what are the philosophical as well as artistic consequences of this critical “power” of judgment? Does Kant enable a conceptualization not only of philosophy but also of art itself as “critique”? Time permitting, we will examine the legacy of Kantian aesthetics in a variety of subsequent thinkers, including Schopenhauer, Hegel, Nietzsche, Cassirer, Husserl, Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Strawson, Allison, Derrida, Guyer, and Lyotard.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
The seminar will address the topics of deep disagreement, testimony, trust, epistemic injustice and conceptual engineering from the point of view of hinge epistemology.

Same as LPS 221.
This course provides an overview of the exciting field of medical epistemology. Based on case-studies drawn from contemporary medical practice, the course will be themed around the following key topics: Disease classification. Hierarchies of evidence in evidence based medicine. The role of trust in the medical context. Expert disagreement in the medical context. Vaccine skepticism. Informed consent. Testimonial and hermeneutical injustice in the medical context. Alternative medicines. Diagnostics and epistemic value. Placebo effect.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.