About the Program
At Stony Brook's extension center in Manhattan, the philosophy department offers a set of courses that concentrate on philosophical issues in the arts. These courses explore various aspects of the fine arts (painting, sculpture, theater, music, dance, and installations) as well as architecture. They also examine aspects of the art world that can be illuminated by philosophical analysis (e.g., museum and exhibition culture, spectatorship, art criticism). No other set of courses with a comparable emphasis exists in the New York area.
Art and philosophy are typically pursued in separation from each other, with only the rare single course considering both at once. Yet philosophical dimensions of art have become of increasing concern to artists, art historicans, art critics, and philosophers themselves in the last decade. For example, the question as to what constitutes an artwork – i.e., what are its material and social conditions and limits – has been much debated and is an example of a specific theme to be treated in offerings at .
A core course to be given each year takes up basic dimensions of art in the context of the history of aesthetic theory, supplemented with courses in more specialized topics of concern both to philosophers and to those in the art world. Artists and architects who consider philosophical features of their work, the educated public, art collectors and museum directors, and those who seek to earn a master's degree in philosophy, will be interested in this unique opportunity.
Credit for courses on philosophical issues in the arts may be applied toward the M.A. in Philosophy from Stony Brook University. A master's degree in Philosophy requires thirty credit hours, of which six are to be devoted to a master's thesis. One course must be taken on the home campus in Stony Brook, Long Island. All other courses are offered at the Stony Brook Manhattan campus at Park Ave. South and 28th St.
To those interested in pursuing a rigorous and rewarding post-graduate degree in Manhattan, a Master of Arts in Philosophy offers courses, resources, and faculty previously accessible only on Stony Brook University's Long Island campus.