Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Aesthetics I

Aesthetics I
First semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Teaching staff

To make an appointment with the professor, please write an email.


This subject aims for the student to acquire specific knowledge about the origin, evolution and different fields of Aesthetics history; as well as the topics, vocabulary and classical debates of the discipline. The student will go through the main authors and their texts to articulate the thought on the main ideas of the discipline.

This methodology aims for the student to have a good knowledge of critical tools to understand and build Aesthetics history and think over fundamental categories transversely.


Pre-course requirements

There are no previous requisites



The subject's goals are:

  1. To know the history of the school of thought and culture.

  2. To know the fundamental periods of the Art and Philosphy confluence, as well as the affinities with other kinds of thinking.

  3. To understand the human dimension in the aesthetical experience

  4. To gain knowledge out of texts' analysis


  • E02 - Ability to use methods and techniques specific to human sciences.
  • E23 - Ability to use computer resources and techniques to produce essays on cultural topics.
  • E24 - Ability to present the results of research project in accordance with the standards of each subject area.
  • E26 - Ability to read and write texts in one's own language and other languages, as well as transcribe, summarise and categorise pertinent information.
  • E32 - Ability to manage cultural heritage conservation projects
  • E34 - Ability to create educational resources in the Cultural sphere.
  • E35 - To acquire basic skills related to the management of financial resources in cultural organisations and projects.
  • G01 - To analyse and interpret social and cultural environments to identify need, opportunities, weaknesses and strenghts..

Learning outcomes

  • To recognize fundamental ideas of the authors learnt in class and to be able to make a powerful introduction.

  • To understand Aesthetics' origin in the frame of its cultural context.

  • To build connections between different artistical disciplines in the frame of philosophical thought.

  • To know about the main debate on Beauty and Art carried out by the authors, artists, academics, philosophers and Art critics.

  • To recognize humanistical references from the past to understand their actual influence.




What is aesthetics?

The study of what is beautiful

An historical approach to the aesthetics



Theme 1. Beauty of nature

Nature reflecting the human soul

Nature as the face of divinity

The creator strength of nature


Theme 2. What is beauty?

Beauty and perfection

Useless beauty

Define beauty. History

The most sublime of what humans are capable

Experience, heritage, culture, concept

What no one sees


Theme 3. The human necessity of beauty

How it affects the spirit

The feelings towards beauty



Theme 4. Beauty, Truth and Goodness

Beauty and the good

Goodness as a condition to see the beautiful

Beauty and order

Beauty and proportion

Canons and rules


Theme 5. Beauty and love

Beauty is the object of love

Eros leads toward beauty

The universal harmony is a loving one


Theme 6: The aesthetical judgement

Judgement and interest

The right judgement

The mature judgement

The rational judgement

Judgement and taste


Theme 7. Beauty of people

Beauty of the soul

From internal beauty to external beauty

Beauty and gesture

First impressions

The face and the mask

Human face as poetical expression


Theme 8. Spiritual Beauty

The intelligent beauty

Reason and passion

Beauty redeems

The ecstasy

Beyond mere perception


Theme 9. Beauty and Freedom

Schiller: freedom in appearance is beauty

An internal law


Theme 10. The beautiful and the sublime

The origin of the idea of beauty

The contrast between two concepts

The romantic vision

The romantic comprehension of the Antique sublime


Theme 11. The form

Perfection is the form of some matter

The aesthetical pleasure comes from the form

The Gestalt school


Theme 12. Art

The creator self-conscience

The creator spirit

The artist

To create a work of art is to fund a world

The human dimension of art

The inspiration

Is art everything we call so?


Theme 13. The ugly

The meaning of the distance between the ugly and the beautiful

The function of ugliness on art

Aesthetics of fear

Teaching and learning activities

In person

a)      Reading of some key texts

b)      Text commentary

c)      Discussion of some examples

d)      Practical exercises of analysis and reflexion

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person


1. Work in the classroom 25%

3. Work on texts and images 25%

4. Final Exam 50%



1. In this course it is very important to make proper use of language in written tests, essays and oral presentations, both from the point of view of grammar and spelling and punctuation and wording. A proper use of terms specific to the discipline is also particularly relevant. The criteria to be followed before any of these errors is as follows: 0.25 will be lowered for misspelling or incorrect words in essays and exams.

2. Advice on plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of material appropriated from another source or from other sources with the intention of passing it off as one’s own work. Plagiarism may take the form of unacknowledged quotes or substantial paraphrasing. Sources of material include all printed and electronically-available publications in English or other languages, or unpublished materials, including theses, written by others.

To avoid plagiarism, you must quote the source whenever ideas written by another person are used and even if the quote is not direct and is paraphrasing or summarising someone else’s ideas. In direct quotes, one must use quotation marks and quote the source. In an academic essay, it is not enough to generally record the literature used, but it is necessary to explicitly mention the source where ideas written by someone else come from.

Plagiarism in written essays for this course is unacceptable and, therefore, any work in which plagiarism is committed will be evaluated with a zero.

Bibliography and resources

ALBERTI, Leon Battista; Los diez libros de Arquitectura, Albatros, Madrid 1977

ARGULLOL, Rafael; Sabiduría de la ilusión, Taurus, Madrid 1994

BALTHASAR, Hans Urs von; Gloria. Una estética teológica, Encuentro, Madrid, 1985-1989

BARASCH, Moshe; Teorías del arte de Platón a Winckelmann, Alianza, Madrid, 1991

BOSCH, M.; El poder de la belleza, EUNSA, Pamplona 2015

BRUYNE, E.; La estética de la edad media. Madrid: Visor, 1994.

BURKE, Edmund; Indagación filosófica sobre el origen de nuestras ideas acerca de lo   sublime y lo bello, Tecnos, Madrid 1997

CROCE, Benedetto; Breviario de Estética, Espasa Calpe, Madrid 1967

ECO, U. Art i bellesa en l'estètica medieval. Barcelona: Destino, 1990.

FEBRER, Mateo; Filosofía De la belleza y del arte, Instituto de Teología y Humanismo, Barcelona 1993

FICINO, Marsilio; Sobre el amor. Comentario al banquete de Platón, Tecnos, Madrid, 1994

GADAMER, Hans Georg; La actualidad de lo bello. El arte como juego, símbolo y fiesta, Paidós, Barcelona 1991

   ___   , Estética y hermenéutica, Tecnos, Madrid 1998

GENTILE, Giovanni; Filosofía de l’arte in compendio ad uso delle scuole, Sansón, Firenze 1934

GOMBRICH, Ernst Hans; La imagen y el ojo, Debate, Madrid 2000

GONZÁLEZ OCHOA, César; La Música del universo: apuntes sobre la noción de armonía en Platón, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Instituto            de Investigaciones Filológicas, México D.F. 1994

HEGEL, Georg Wilhelm; De lo bello y sus formas, Espasa Calpe, Madrid 1985

   ___   , Introducción a la Estética, Península, Madrid 1997

HEIDEGGER, Martin; Arte y Poesía, Fondo de Cultura Económico, Madrid 1999

HUTCHESON, Francis; Una investigación sobre el origen de nuestra idea de belleza, Tecnos, Madrid 1992

JAUSS, Hans Robert; La experiencia estética, Taurus, Madrid 1986

KANDINSKY, Wassily; De lo espiritual en el arte, Labor, Barcelona 1995

LABRADA, M A, Estética, EUNSA, Pamplona 1998 

KANT, Immanuel; Lo bello y lo sublime, Tecnos, Madrid

LONGINO, De lo sublime, (Manuel Pérez Valderrábano Trad.), Madrid 1770

MIRABENT i VILAPLANA, Francesc de P.; De la bellesa. Iniciació als problemes de l’estética, disciplina filosòfica, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 1936

ORTEGA Y GASSET, José; La deshumanización del arte, Alianza, Madrid 2002

PACIOLI, Luca; La divina proporción, Akal, Madrid 1991

PANOFSKY, Erwin; Idea, Cátedra, Madrid 1998

PUIG i GRAU, Arnau; Escrits d’estètica: filosofies, Els llibres de Glauco, Barcelona 1987

PLAZAOLA, Juan; Introducción a la estética: historia, teoría y textos, Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, 1991

PLOTINO, Enéadas, Madrid, Gredos (3 vols, diversos años)

SANTAYANA, George; El sentido de la belleza. Un esbozo de teoría estética. Tecnos, Madrid 1999

SCHILLER, Friedrich; KalliasCartas sobre la educación estética del hombre, Anthropos, Barcelona 1990

                       , Sobre la gracia y la dignidad, Icaria, Barcelona 1985

SCHELLING, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von;  La relación del arte con la naturaleza, Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid 2003

TATARKIEWICZ, w.; Historia de la estética, Akal, Madrid 1990

TRÍAS, Lo bello y lo siniestro, Ariel, Barcelona 2001

VALVERDE,  J.M.; Breve historia y antología de la estética. Madrid: Ariel, 2011.

YARZA, I.; Introducción a la estética. Navarra: EUNSA, 2004

ZECCHI, Stefano; La belleza, Tecnos, Madrid 1994