Problematic Issues of Art
Cod: 51152
Department: DH
Scientific area: Artistic Studies
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

This curricular unit seeks to establish a panoramic view of the evolution of concepts in the field of aesthetics since classical antiquity and to enable students to assess the value of such concepts in the definition of art. Students are also expected to acquire a critical view of the general tendencies at the heart of the current post-modern debates, insofar as artistic production is concerned, as well as of the complex relationship between art, society, ideology and values, as applied both to previous epochs and our own. In so doing, it is the ultimate aim of this unit to help students develop a capacity for pertinent cultural judgement, particularly within the context of the so-called “crisis of the humanities”.

Philosophy of Art
Literary Theory

The students enrolled in this course unit will become familiar with the most general and persistent problems in the study and definition of art from classical antiquity to the present day, including problems and concepts specifically related to the emergence of the aesthetic as a distinct field of inquiry to the individual tendencies of specific arts. The competences students will be expected to develop during the course of the semester are the following:
• The capacity to define, contextualize and apply aesthetic concepts from diverse historical periods, ranging from classical antiquity to the present day;
• The capacity to mobilize diverse cultural, intellectual and artistic references in the construction of an individual critical discourse centred on aesthetic issues and debates;
• The capacity to identify the major lines of cultural and artistic evolution that characterize the topic under consideration, with reference to the works, authors and events that most contributed to its formation.

The general thematic lines of this unit will take shape through the detailed study of the following authors, movements and topics:
1. Aesthetics: between languages and objects
2. Art and pleasure
3. Art and beauty
4. Art and emotion
5. Art and understanding
6. Singular aesthetics? Music, cinema, literature, architecture
7. The performing arts
8. Still art? Reflections on modern art
9. Art and nature
10. Theories and definitions

GRAHAM, Gordon, Filosofia das Artes. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2001.
TOWNSEND, Dabney, Introdução à Estética: História, Correntes, Teorias. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2002.

ADORNO, Theodor W., Teoria Estética. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2011.
ANDERSON, Perry. As Origens da Pós-Modernidade. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2005.
ARISTÓTELES, Poética. 5ª Edição. Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, 1998.
CARCHIA, Gianni e Paolo D’Angelo. Dicionário de Estética. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2009.
CROCE, Benedetto, Breviário de Estética. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2008.
ECO, Umberto, A Definição da Arte. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 1995.
GOMBRICH, E.H., A História da Arte. Rio de Janeiro, Editora Guanabara, 1978.
HEIDEGGER, Martin. A Origem da Obra de Arte. Lisboa, Ed. 70, 2010.
ORTEGA Y GASSET, José, A Desumanização da Arte. Lisboa, Nova Veja, 2008.
PLATÃO, A República. 6ª Edição. Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1990.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).