Jun 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GERM 279 - Value: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Cheap

Cross-Listed as MCST 279  
All readings and class taught in English; no pre-knowledge required. For thousands of years value has been scrutinized in philosophy, art history, and economic analysis, as it cuts across three constitutive aspects of social, cultural, and political life: economy, aesthetics, and ethics. Not only do we have and impose on the world our moral, aesthetic, and exchange values, but these three fields often become difficult to distinguish, as is evident in the slippery flexibility of words that allow us to say as much “this painting is bad or worthless” as “I think this person is bad or worthless,” or “this is a bad, or worthless, remark” and “this is a bad or worthless check.” This course will focus primarily on influential accounts of value in aesthetic theory, while also examining the ways in which aesthetic value demarcates itself from or implicates its moral and economic counterparts, and what the interplays among the three fields entail for aesthetic value. Our readings will focus on the impact of primarily German thought on the formation of modern aesthetic theory-from the early eighteenth century through the Enlightenment and Romanticism to high modernism and the Frankfurt School.  Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)