Arts criticism and its theory 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
207UKT1 ZK 3 2T Czech winter

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

  1. In this course students, based on readings of principal industrial texts introducing issues of assessing a work of art as formulated in the philosophy of aesthetics and which concentrates primarily around questions of objectivity in aesthetic judgements of works of art.
  2. Students should, based on completion of the course, have learned a non-reductive view of arts critique, which show this sphere in its breadth from the most general definition as an aesthetic judgement (it needs to be verbalized) to its most narrow as a particular manner of statements on a work of art which is usually marked by the terminology of „a professional critique“.

Mode of study

Group readings and interpretation of selected texts for selected topics supplemented by moderated discussions.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

No requirements.

Course contents

Characteristics: Arts critique is understood in this course in the widest possible sense as an aesthetic assessment of an artistic work. Attention will be given to traditional issues in aesthetic judgement and claimed as a general application of aesthetic evaluation.


  1. Presentation of the basic conflict which has been dicussed in relation to traditional assessment of artistic works: subjectivity of aesthetic experience contra the challenge fo assessing a work of art in objective application (reading: Hum's essay).
  2. Issues in distinguising factors relevant for asssessing a work of art as a work of art (and not, for example, as an object of change) from the factors of that assessment of the external (the dispute of internationalism and formalism Beardsley, Wimsatt, Eliot, Walton, Ortega Y Gasset).
  3. Broadening common ideas about the results of aesthetic evaluation of a work of art: topics related to the classification of the object or process as a work of art on its aesthetic assessment (Zemach). Further issues of a coherient theory of the object of aesthetic evaluation (what type of object we address with our aesthetic evaluation - Pepper).

Recommended or required reading

Beardsley, M.C., Wimsatt W.K., „The Intentional Fallacy“, In: Margolis, Joseph (ed.), Philosophy Looks At The Arts (Third Edition), Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1987.

Diderot, Denis, O umění, Praha, Odeon 1983. (výběr ze Salónů)

Eliot, Thomas Stearns, O básnictví a básnících, Praha, Odeon 1991.

Hume, David, „O normě vkusu“, Aluze, 2002/2.

Ortega Y Gasset, José, Eseje o umení, Bratislava, Archa 1994.

Pepper, Stephen C., Aesthetic object, The Journal of Philosophy,

Vol. XL, No. 18, September 2, 1943.

Pepper, Stephen C., The Place of Critic, University of California Chronicle, 1921.

Walton, Kendal, „Kategorie umění“ In: V. Zuska (ed.), Umění , krása šeredno: Texty z estetiky 20. století, Praha, Karolinum, 2004.

Zemach, Eddy, „No Identification without Evaluation“, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. XXVI, No. 3, Summer 1986.

Assessment methods and criteria

Credit is awarded based on class participation, which is comprised of regular attendance (max. 20% absence) and presentation of at least one of the interpreted texts for the other class students.

The exam (upon fulfillment of the requirement of class participation) is a verfication of the student's familiarity with the texts which were read during the course. Students will be able, during the exam, to work with directly with a selected text but will have to demonstrate an ability to quickly manage it and knowledge of the related individual text content assertions. During an exam the student will be presented with questions focused on two selected texts.

Schedule for winter semester 2018/2019:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2018/2019:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans