10593 - Aesthetics (1) (A-E)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The purpose of this course is to give students the basic knowledge concerning the birth and the development of Aesthetics, with specific attention to the origin of fundamental concepts such as genius, taste, intuition, imitation and so on. Secondly, the present state of Aesthetics will be analysed.

Course contents

Part I Kant and Modern Aesthetics

After an introduction to the history and notion of aesthetics, the first part is dedicated to the analysis and commentary of the Critique of Judgment. The understanding of Kant's vocabulary and conceptuality will be supported by a constant comparison with the aesthetic theories preceding and contemporary to Kant, in such a way as to keep together the critical comparison with the classic reference and the introductory character of the whole module, useful to instruct students of all curricular backgrounds on the vocabulary and conceptuality of modern aesthetics.

Part II Hegel's Aesthetics: Art, Appearance, History

The second part will be devoted to the reading and commentary of the scheduled sources on Hegel's Aesthetics. Starting from the themes of Hegel's introduction to the Aesthetics, which confronts Kant and Schiller, the module will firstly deal with the transition to the historicization of aesthetics; secondly, deepening the problem of the plurality of sources we have at our disposal for Hegel's aesthetics as a classic of the discipline, the last part aims at constituting a first introduction to the more general problem of how to organize a critical confrontation with philosophical texts.


Class schedule

Part I

First week: introduction to the key concepts of Aesthetics between ancient and modern (sensibility; art/work of art/artist; tast; genius; beautiful; sublime

Second week: introduction to Kant

Third week: nature and freedom; determining judgment and reflecting judgment; analytic of the judgment of taste

Fourth week: Analytik of the sublime; paradoxes of aesthetic judgments; sensus communis

Fifth week: Art; Genius.

Part II

First week: Historicization of aesthetics.Starting from Schiller

Second week: Neoclassicism and the genesis of Hegel’s Aesthetics

Third week: the problem of the end of art in Hegel’s thinking

Fourth week: symbolic, classical and romantic form of art

Last week: The arts in Hegel’s aesthetics: architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry




Part I

1) I. Kant, Critica del giudizio, ed. by A. Bosi, Utet, Torino 1993 (only Preface, Introduction, §§1-22; Nota generale alla prima sezione dell’analitica; §§23-29; nota generale all’esposizione dei giudizi riflettenti estetici; §40, §§43-50)

2) A. Bertinetto, G. Garelli, F. Vercellone, Storia dell'estetica moderna e contemporanea, Il Mulino, Bologna 2003.

Part II

2) G.W.F. Hegel, Lezioni di estetica, trad. e introduzione di P. D’Angelo, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2000 .

All readings are mandatory.

Bibliography for non attending students.

Non attending students must prepare extra mandatory reading:

O. Höffe, Immanuel Kant, tr. it. di S. Carboncini, Il Mulino, Bologna 1986 (first part)

L’estetica di Hegel, a cura di M. Farina e A.L. Siani, Il Mulino, Bologna 2015 (second part)

Teaching methods

The course will consist of frontal lessons; sources will be commented and discussed and the problems and their historical context synthetically reconstructed.

Assessment methods

The final proof will take place in the form of an oral examination. During the examination the teacher will assess whether the student has achieved or not some basic educational goals:

– knowledge of the texts and capacity to contextualize authors and works;

– comprehension of the fundamental concepts and capacity to provide a correct interpretation of them

– clarity in the explanation of concepts and accuracy in the use of philosophical terminology;

– capacity to establish connections between the various authors and themes from both a historical and a strictly speaking conceptual point of view.

The oral examination consists of the discussion of three issues: one dealing with the history of Aesthetics; one with the Critique of Judgment; the last one with Hegel’s Aesthetics.

During the oral examination the teacher will assess if the student possesses the abovementioned knowledge and skills in a (more or less) complete, precise and adequate way, or vice-versa in a (more or less) incomplete, vague and superficial way. The final grade will correspondently vary from excellent (30 and honors) to very good (30) to good (27-29) to fairly good (24-26) to more than enough (21-23) to merely enough (18-21) to unsatisfactory (<18).


Students with disabilities and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)Students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders have the right to special accommodations according to their condition, following an assessment by the Service for Students with Disabilities and SLD. Please do not contact the teacher but get in touch with the Service directly to schedule an appointment. It will be the responsibility of the Service to determine the appropriate adaptations. For more information, visit the page:



Teaching tools

Further readings will be provided via Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Eleonora Caramelli


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.