Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The course focuses on central philosophical questions and concepts concerning aesthetics of design, media, architecture, and art. Emphasis in course materials and discussions is on applicable approaches that give theoretical support to Aalto ARTS doctoral students research topics. Core concepts include aesthetic values and qualities, interpretation, intentionality, taste, mediation, and aesthetic experience.

After the completion of the course, the students will be able to identify and explain central themes and concepts of philosophical aesthetics. They will be able to choose theories which are relevant to their research topics and to apply and further develop these to support their work. The students will show proficiency in critical thinking and argumentation by demonstrating their academic communication skills both in written and oral form.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 24.09.2021 - 08.04.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Sanna Lehtinen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    A selection of contemporary research articles from philosophical aesthetics is read independently by the students and then presented and discussed together during contact sessions (fall term). The themes of the readings include approaches from e.g. aesthetic theory, everyday and environmental aesthetics, applied aesthetics, aesthetics of technology, and philosophy of art. During the spring term, the students will write and present academic essays which are based on fall term readings. The essays will be commented on by another student and then discussed together with the group during contact sessions.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Seminar meetings: reading all assigned articles and presenting one of them (fall term), writing and presenting one's paper, commenting on one paper of a peer student (spring term).

    Required: completion of the given tasks. 75% of the grade will come from the academic essay, 25% from 2 presentations and commenting on other student s essays. Passing with grade 5 requires more than 80% attendance + active contribution. Passing with grade 1 requires more than 50% attendance.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    6 ects

    162 hours, contact hours 40h, independent work 122 h.


Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    5 Gender Equality

    13 Climate Action

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 No teaching
    2023-2024 Autumn I - Spring V

    Enrollment :

    Minimum number of participants: 8 Maximum number of participants: 20 Priority order: 1.Students of Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture

    Registration for courses: Sisu. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture,