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PH9B1 - Kant's Aesthetics

  • Module code: PH9B1
  • Module name: Kant's Aesthetics
  • Department: Philosophy
  • Credit: 20, 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

Immanuel Kant’s third Critique is an extremely rich, but at times forbiddingly obscure, text. The aim of this module is to give students an in-depth introduction to the ‘Critique of Aesthetic Judgement,’ arguably the foundational text of modern aesthetics for both the analytic and the continental traditions, and selected debates in aesthetic theory to which it has given rise. We will cover aspects of the Introduction, notably the idea of reflective judgement, the Analytic of the Beautiful, the Deduction of Pure Aesthetic Judgements, the Analytic of the Sublime, as well as Kant's often marginalized remarks on fine art, genius and aesthetic ideas, and their relation to his theory of aesthetic judgement. Time permitting, we will consider historical questions such as the relation between Kant's aesthetics and those of David Hume and Edmund Burke, and topical questions such as the ongoing relevance of Kant's aesthetics today.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should have a critical understanding of the major issues addressed by Kant's third Critique and be able to take an informed position on some of the debates to which it has given rise.

Timetabled teaching activities

Weekly 2 hour seminars in term 1.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: PH9B1-20)
A (Assessed work only) 7500 word essay 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange students) 100%
30 CATS (Module code: PH9B1-30)
A (Assessed work only) 7500 word essay 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange students) 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy (V7PL) - Year 2