Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Criticism 2020/2021 (7.5 credits)

Autumn 2020, 100 %, Campus

Start date: 5 October 2020

End date: 8 November 2020

Application Deadline: 15 April 2020

Enrolment Code: UU-50506 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Location: Uppsala

Selection: All qualified applicants will be admitted.

Entry Requirements: A Bachelor's degree in the humanities, social sciences, or art and design.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application or tuition fees. Formal exchange students will be exempted from tuition fees, as well as the application fee. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 12500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 12500

About the course:

The figure of the critic and the idea of criticism are constant points of reference in the philosophical literature of aesthetics. That said, there are wide disagreements about the concept and function of art-critical texts. Should criticism aim to evaluate its object or to describe it. Does the critic strive to justify her observations, or to get her reader to see what she sees? Does the work of criticism leave its object untouched? In what sense does criticism have its own aesthetics - that is, do critical texts themselves have aesthetic value and, if so, how does this relate to the aesthetic value they seek to identify in the artworks they are about? The course will take stock of the main contrasting conceptions of arts criticism as well as explore possibilities for revisionary approaches to the subject. It will also aim at taking a closer look at the practice of criticism, both in journalistic and academic contexts. Examination will be on the basis of a practical assignment (a written review), an oral presentation, and a formal essay.

More information


Department of Philosophy

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 H

Box 627, 751 26 UPPSALA

Telephone: 018-471 7351

Course Administrator Ulrika Valdeson


Telephone: +46 18 471 72 99