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Aesthetics I

Code: E201     Acronym: EI

Classification Keyword

Instance: 2019/2020 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Ciências da Arte e do Design
Course/CS Responsible: Fine Arts

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
AP 110 Official Study Plan 2011 2 - 3 34 81
DC 64 Plano Oficial do ano letivo 2017 2 - 3 34 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Helder Manuel de Jesus Gomes

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 2,00
Helder Manuel de Jesus Gomes 2,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


Provide the conceptual instruments capable of enhancing the exercise of a critical and informed reflection that has as its object first the creation and reception of works of art. Contact with a historically oriented thematic path - which runs through the thinking of some of the main agents of past and contemporary aesthetic reflection - should enhance the critical autonomy and interiorization of the intrinsic interdependence between the artistic production and reception dimension and the discourse. conceptual; and, more broadly, the intrinsic interdependence between the world representations privileged by a given epoch, culture or artist, and the way art is thought, produced and experienced. In this sense, thinking of art will be, first and foremost, understood as an inquiry into thought itself, that is, into the cultural instruments of representation of the real. We will try to identify the specificity of artistic representation languages ​​in relation to other ways of thinking and experiencing the world. Generally, the problem of Representation will arise in two dimensions: 1) What is the representation of the world privileged by a given epoch, culture or individual? Simply put, what is the answer given to the question what is the world? Or what is the privileged way of representing the world? 2) What is the representation of art privileged by one of the time, culture or individual? Simply put, what is the answer given to the question what is art? If it is usually because of an at least implicit answer to the question what is the world? When the answer to the question "what is art" is defined, it is also possible to think that in some epochs, practices or thinkers it is in function of the second that the first is defined. An example of this is how the representation of the world produced by art in a given historical-cultural period actively conditions the very transformation of the world — whether or not the conscious agents are aware of it. It seems possible to think of the history of art and the history of aesthetics, as thematic reflection, as a result of a process of interaction between a “multiple” representation of the world and an “equally multiple” representation of art. This interaction develops in two main strands: a) The adequacy — or inadequacy — of artistic representation to an underlying but not always conscious representation of the world. According to this conception, art imitates life. This is the biggest obstacle to the notion of mimetic representation, which for a long time structured and conditioned Western art: it would always be a second degree representation, that is, the representation of a representation. b) The adequacy of the world to a particular artistic representation of the world - that is, the desire to make the world a work of art. This is the desire that has animated, at least for the last century, the socially committed artistic avant-garde. According to this model, which is that of modernity, it is not art that imitates life, it is life that imitates art. However, the often formulated claim to fit the world into an ideal representation inspired some of the most terrible political experiences of the twentieth century. This makes clear the extremely problematic character of the relationship between art and reality, with the notion of representation acquiring a central role: it is from this that both concepts are defined. Therefore, it becomes pertinent to question art from the notion of representation, according to the variables mentioned above. The equation of these variables will allow a focus of our analyzes, drawing a directed path, tending to provide an understanding of art as a cultural phenomenon historically and culturally situated.

Learning outcomes and competences


Working method



Aesthetics: from Plato to Nietzsche.

- Introduction: what is art?

A)  Plato

1- The anathema launched the art in the name of a representation of the world that condemns the art to the status of imitation.


B) Introduction to Modernity

  1 - The main categories of Modernity - characterization and questioning.

C) Kant:

1 - Kant's Aesthetics as a paradigm of critical modernity: The real as representation.

D) Hegel:

1 - The art as a process of dialectical self-representation of reality.

E) Nietzsche:

                 1 - Art as a model of the relationship between man and the real: relativism and perspectivism.


Mandatory literature

Platão 428?-347? a.C.; A^República. ISBN: 972-31-0509-8
Kant Immanuel; Critica da faculdade do juizo. ISBN: 972-27-0506-7
Hegel G.W.F.; Estética
Nietzsche Friedrich; O nascimento da tragédia ou mundo grego e pessimismo.. ISBN: 972-708-351-X

Teaching methods and learning activities


Evaluation Type

Evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 100,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Frequência das aulas 5,00
Total: 5,00

Eligibility for exams


Calculation formula of final grade


Written examination. In this, the evaluation criteria are the following: scientific and conceptual rigor; adequate responses to the problem posed; critical distance; expertise demonstrated.

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