Aesthetics, arts, music and educational contexts (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Markus Georg Ophaelders
Markus Georg Ophaelders
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA dal Feb 27, 2017 al Apr 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Sem. IIA
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall H  
Wednesday 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall H  

Learning outcomes

Profound examination and critical reflection on the relevant topics of aesthetics in general and on Italo Calvino' Six Memos for the Next Millennium in particular.

Didactical Methods:
The course is structured prevalently by frontal lessons and lectures from the texts; the major themes will be items for a discussion.


Among our capacities of knowledge and self-consciousness imagination is the only one able to mediate between the others and consequently to create
Among all our faculties of knowledge and self-knowledge imagination is the only one that is able to mediate between the others and, therefore, to build relationships and ties. In educational settings that option - essential to all artistic activities, both productive and receptive - is of particular importance. A pedagogy of imagination, therefore, has as its goal the development of the ability to think and to reflect in terms of images that takes into account the emotional side of human relationships and not only the rational one.
The first part of the course presents a reflection on the different relationships between mimesis and ratio, imagination and concept by focusing on some key historical moments (Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, rationalism, empiricism, Baumgarten) also to introduce into aesthetics as a philosophical discipline. Afterwards fundamental concepts also of the contemporary aesthetics will be taken into consideration, such as the sublime and the genius as they have been defined by Kant and put to work by Goethe, ending with an overview on the aesthetics of Hegel.
More in detail will then be read and discussed Calvino’s American Lessons (1984) showing that the need for a pedagogy of imagination is of absolute cogency today, given the saturation of images that increasingly characterizes today's world forcefully. We are in fact running the risk to lose a fundamental human capacity: to “think in terms of images. I think of a possible pedagogy of imagination which teaches us to control our inner vision without suffocating it and without, on the other hand, let it fall into a confused, weak fantasizing, but allowing the images to crystallize in a well-defined shape, memorable, self-sufficient, figurative " (Calvino).

Testi di riferimento:

- Markus Ophälders, Filosofia arte estetica, Mimesis, Milano 2008.

- Italo Calvino, Lezioni americane, Mondadori, Milano 1999.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Markus Ophaelders Filosofia arte estetica Mimesis 2008 9788884837585
Italo Calvino Lezioni americane  

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists in an oral discussion with the teacher.