FIL4700 – Philosophical Aesthetics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Problems in philosophical aesthetics, both historical and contemporary, are treated in this course. They may be approached as purely philosophical questions or as questions that arise in the meeting of philosophy with the arts. For example: What is beauty and what is its place among other things in the world? What is art and what is its place among other things and other activities? How is aesthetic quality judged? Texts and focus will vary.

Learning outcome

After having completed this unit you will be expected to:

  • have a good understanding of the most important concepts and questions within central aesthetical theories
  • to be able to account for selected views within aesthetics in a way that clearly brings out connections with other philosophical disciplines (such as epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics)
  • to be able to understand and assess central aesthetical theories in their historical context and development, as well as be familiar with contemporary debates about these theories
  • to be able to give an independent presentation of a selected aesthetical theory and critically to discuss this in light of other views on aesthetics


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Requires admission to Philosophy (master's two years).

Overlapping courses


Teaching takes place throughout the semester with two hours per week (for 12 weeks). An active student participation is expected from all students. As the course exists also as a bachelor course, teaching takes place together with bachelor students.

Compulsory tuition activities:

  • An oral presentation
  • Mandatory presence at the last seminar (which is dedicated to the presentations)

All compulsory tuition activities must be accepted as satisfactory in order to take the finale exam. The activities are only valid for one semester (the same semester they are completed).

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance <>.


A porofolio exam which consists of two essays of 6-7 pages each (one page should contain approximately 2300 characters), exclusive bibliography. The topics will be published in Canvas, while the portofolio is to be submitted in Inspera.

In order for you to qualify for the final examination, your compulsory tuition activities must be approved (accepted as satisfactory) by the teacher.

Evaluation criteria spring 2019

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


All courses are subject to continuous evaluation. The Department's assessments of courses are
available at our web-pages but generally only in Norwegian

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language