PHIL 3038OL - Ethics and the Arts: Literature, Film, Art & Music

Online - Semester 2 - 2021

Developments in societal norms and values have led to serious ethical dilemmas in the Arts. Among them include whether new standards and values should be applied retrospectively. For example, can funding sources when considered unethical by today?s standards detract from the merit of an historical masterpiece? And when does answering yes to these kinds of questions constitute fallacies like judging the person instead of the product; or an anachronism (cognitive bias of hindsight)? Do these fallacies apply in such context sensitive cases? There are many questions we could raise about individual cases but also the processes more generally. For example, when does freedom of expression override the kind of restrictions on public discourse now operating in the public space? And do we allow film and video games? producers and television executives too much influence in shaping our imaginaries? And what do we say about the works which promote unethical attitudes, alienation, insensitivity to others suffering, disregard for the natural world, or that make an ethical point by employing unethical means? Who is accountable? And is it ethical for an artist, actor or writer to take on the persona or speak in the voice of another gender or culture? And when does artistic or musical influence blur into plagiarism? In this course, we will identify principles from art and aesthetic theories, moral theory, philosophy of mind and from informal logic, with which to analyse these cases and more. Students will be able to choose whether to focus their research on Literature, Film, Art or Music. This course will be a must for anyone seeking a career in the creative industries, but will also be useful to those who are interested in connecting the Arts with Philosophy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 3038OL
    Course Ethics and the Arts: Literature, Film, Art & Music
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Course Description Developments in societal norms and values have led to serious ethical dilemmas in the Arts. Among them include whether new standards and values should be applied retrospectively. For example, can funding sources when considered unethical by today?s standards detract from the merit of an historical masterpiece? And when does answering yes to these kinds of questions constitute fallacies like judging the person instead of the product; or an anachronism (cognitive bias of hindsight)? Do these fallacies apply in such context sensitive cases? There are many questions we could raise about individual cases but also the processes more generally. For example, when does freedom of expression override the kind of restrictions on public discourse now operating in the public space? And do we allow film and video games? producers and television executives too much influence in shaping our imaginaries? And what do we say about the works which promote unethical attitudes, alienation, insensitivity to others suffering, disregard for the natural world, or that make an ethical point by employing unethical means? Who is accountable? And is it ethical for an artist, actor or writer to take on the persona or speak in the voice of another gender or culture? And when does artistic or musical influence blur into plagiarism? In this course, we will identify principles from art and aesthetic theories, moral theory, philosophy of mind and from informal logic, with which to analyse these cases and more. Students will be able to choose whether to focus their research on Literature, Film, Art or Music. This course will be a must for anyone seeking a career in the creative industries, but will also be useful to those who are interested in connecting the Arts with Philosophy.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Jennifer McMahon

    Developments in societal norms and values have led to serious ethical dilemmas in the Arts. You will have the opportunity to identify and analyse those of particular interest to you. Among those discussed will include whether new standards and values should be applied retrospectively when museums or historical masterpieces are found to have been funded by sources considered unethical by today’s standards; and whether or when freedom of expression is allowed to override cultural and other sensitivities, such as when creative works promote unethical attitudes, alienation, insensitivity to others suffering, disregard for the natural world, or employ unethical means. The course will introduce relevant theoretical concepts from moral theory, aesthetics, philosophy of mind and informal logic to analyse such cases and more. Students will be able to choose whether to focus their research on Literature, Film, Art, Dance or Music. This course will be a must for anyone seeking a career in the creative industries but will also be useful to those who are interested in connecting the Arts with Philosophy.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    1 x 2 hr lecture
    1 x 1 hr tutorial
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Articulate the principles that underpin ethical dilemmas with rigour and clarity in written and spoken debate
    2. Demonstrate understanding of the philosophical assumptions and implications of their own ethical views
    3. Engage in ethical dilemmas within context sensitive situations with a balanced, reasonable and culturally sensitive approach in writing and spoken debate
    4. Form research questions
    5. Conduct research using a range of resources and technologies
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1-3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1-3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    TED NANNICELLI, Artistic Creation and Ethical Criticism, Oxford University Press,2020.
    Recommended Resources
    In addition to Nannicelli’s book, weekly readings or podcasts will be provided on myuni.
    Online Learning
    Lectures and various resources will be provided on myuni. Tutorials will be conducted online.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1 x 2 hr lecture
    1 x 1 hr tutorial
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial per week 12 hours per semester
    subTOTAL = 36 hrs

    Reading and research 4 hrs per week 48 hours per semester
    Work on Blog 4 hrs per week 48 hrs per semester
    Essay writing 24 hrs per semester
    subTOTAL = 120 hrs
    Grand TOTAL: 156 hrs
    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction to Principles of Moral Theory, and Aesthetic Theory
    2 Literature and the Philosophy of Mind
    3 Literary Dilemmas: cultural appropriation and the ethics of voice
    4 Film and the Philosophy of Mind
    5 Ethical questions in film creation and reception
    6 Art and Aesthetic Theory
    7 Ethical dilemmas in process and appreciation
    8 Music, Aesthetics, and Ethics
    9 Music, and Persuasion
    10 Individual cases arising from Student Blogs: identifying principles of ethics, aesthetics, mind and logic
    11 Individual cases arising from Student Blogs: the significance of context
    12 Principles of ethics, aesthetics, mind and logic within context sensitive situations
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students will need access to a computer or other digital device, and familiarity with the normal range of tools and programs loaded onto such devices.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will work in groups around their choice of art form to create a blog to engage with other students
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Quizzes, blog, essay
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students will need access to a computer or other digital device, and familiarity with the normal range of tools and programs loaded onto such devices.
    Assessment Detail
    Quizzes 4x5%: On relevant principles 20%
    Blog Select examples, identify and apply principles, identify context relevant factors, respond to other views
    Level III students will be required to engage in a recorded debate to satisfy the requirements of the blog in addition to the written and illustrated components of the blog 30%
    Essay 2,500: develop an argument which summarises their findings from their experience of engaging other views in their blog. 50%
    Submission
    All assessment is submitted online.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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