Course 650:143

Professor Margaret Holland

Office Hours:

Office: Baker 146

          TTh 12:45-1:30           

Office Phone: 273-5975
          and by appt.Dept. of Philosophy & Religion.
Email: margaret.holland@uni.eduBaker 135

Download Syllabus

Dept. Phone: 273-6221

Useful Links
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy- Aesthetics
American Society for Aesthetics
Feminist Aesthetics
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online

Fall 2004 Syllabus

Course Description

Aesthetics, understood as the philosophy of art, is concerned with questions such as "What is art?" "How do we distinguish an art object from other artifacts?" "What role does/should art play in society?" This course will consider these questions through an examination of prominent aesthetic theories, philosophers who have written on the arts, and puzzle cases.  Students will be required to participate in field trips, and to apply what they experience on the field trips to the theories studied in the course.

 Text:  Aesthetics:  A Critical Anthology, ed.  Dickie, Sclafani and Roblin (St. Martin's Press)

 You can find helpful links on my web page:


(1)        Students are expected to attend and participate in all class meetings, as well as read all assignments.  If you miss a class meeting, it is your responsibility to contact another student and to get the assignments and class notes.  You need to make-up missed work before the next class.

(2)        Each student will give a 10 minute research presentation once during the semester.  The presentation will be on a topic in Aesthetics.  Preparing for the presentation will require research, composing an annotated bibliography, and writing a synopsis.  The bibliography and synopsis must be typed and given to the instructor no less than two weeks prior to the presentation.  Points will be deduced for late assignments.

(3)        There will be two tests during the term and a final exam.  There will be no make-up tests unless appropriate documentation of a legitimate reason for missing the test is provided.  Legitimate reasons for missing a test are limited to things such as: jury duty, accident, illness.  All non-emergency requests for make-up tests must be given to the instructor in writing at least two weeks prior to the test date.  Emergency requests for make-up tests must be made (either on the phone or through e-mail) no later than the day of the test.  If these requirements are met, the instructor may consider providing a make-up test.

**         Please familiarize yourself with UNI's Academic Ethics Policies.  These policies are in the student handbook, and they can be found on-line. Search "academic ethics" on UNI's home page and you will be directed to a number of sites that explain your responsibilities on this matter.   UNI's policy not only states that cheating and plagiarism are "unacceptable" but that an instructor may take further disciplinary action against any student who violates academic ethics.  In accordance with this policy, students who cheat or plagiarize will receive an automatic grade of "F" for the entire course. 

Test Schedule and Grades
October 7                                 - 18% of the grade
November 4                              - 22% of the grade
Final Exam                                - 30% of the grade

presentation                              - 10% of the grade
annotated bibliography              - 10% of the grade
synopsis                                   - 10% of the grade

All tests will consist of essay questions and will be comprehensive.

Research Presentation Requirements

(1)        the presentation
*          Your presentation should be about 10 minutes long.
*          You may work alone or with other students.
*          You are encouraged to be innovative.
*          The annotated bibliography and synopsis are due two weeks prior to the presentation, points will be deducted for late
            written assignments.

 (2)       annotated bibliography
            *          The bibliography must be typed.
            *          It should include no less than four articles or books which were the primary sources for your research
                        (other than assigned reading and not including reference works).  Web sources should not be among your four                
                        primary sources.  Also, do not include encyclopedias among your four sources.
            *          For each source write two paragraphs containing the following information: describe the source in general, the specific use
                        you made of it, what it contributed to your report, and which pages you read.
            *          For the bibliography format use The University of Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA  Style Sheet (see the Reference
                        section of the library).

(3)        synopsis
            *          The synopsis must be typed, double-spaced.
            *          The synopsis should be written in complete sentences, not in outline form
            *          Summarize your research.  Include (1) a general introduction to your topic, (2) a  list of the main points you will discuss,
                        (3) a discussion of each point, (4) your conclusion, and further questions.  Each synopsis should begin with a paragraph
                        stating: “The topic of my research is …,” then continue “…specifically I will discuss…,” “The main points I will cover
            *          The synopsis should be 5-6 pages long.
            *          Include a cover sheet with the following information: instructor's name, student's name, research title.
            *          Staple together the cover sheet, synopsis, and annotated bibliography. 

The annotated bibliography and synopsis must be given to the instructor no less than two weeks prior to the presentation.  Points will be deducted if any part of the written work is late.  Presentation dates will be assigned by the instructor after you have selected a research topic.


The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides protection from illegal discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities.  Students requesting instructional accommodations due to disabilities must arrange for such accommodations through the Office of Disability Services.  The ODS is located at : 213 Student Services Center, the phone number is: 273-2676.