Ted Cohen was Professor in Philosophy, the College, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1962, the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967. Cohen worked mainly in the philosophy of art. Among his recent publications are the book Jokes, and the essays, "Identifying with Metaphor," "Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative," and "Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics."
Professor Cohen passed away Friday, March 14, 2014.
An online guestbook for friends, students, and colleagues can be found here.
Ted Cohen's Recorded Interviews and Lectures
Ted Cohen on Elucidations (Department Podcast Series)
Please see my CV (PDF) for a complete list of publications.
23305/33305. History of Aesthetics. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, and Collingwood among others. (A) (I)Winter 2014.
21009/31009. Aesthetics. PQ: Consent of instructor. This course introduces problems in the philosophy of art with both traditional and contemporary texts. Topics include the definition of art, representation, expression, metaphor, and taste. Autumn. (A) (I) Autumn 2013.
20720/30720. Ordinary Language Philosophy. Ordinary Language Philosophy: An eclectic reading of some of the main work that was produced by the “school” that developed mainly in Oxford just after World War II, including essays by John Wisdom, Stuart Hampshire, J.O. Urmson, P. F. Strawson, and J. L. Austin among others. (III) Spring 2012.
23900/33900. Austin and Grice. Course readings are in the works of J. L. Austin, mainly How to Do Things with Words, and essays related to those lectures. If time permits, we consider later developments in the works of Grice and Cavell, among others. (B) (III) Autumn 2009.
21101/31101. Introduction to the Philosophy of Music. Open to college and grad students. An introduction to topics in the philosophy of music, mainly by way of readings from contemporary authors. Among topics to be covered are: What is a musical work, what kind of thing? Is "absolute music" better than music with a text or a program? What explains the emotional effect of music? Is opera the best or the worst of the musical arts, or neither? Authors to be read include Peter Kivy, Stephen Davies, Jerrold Levinson, Kendall Walton, and Jenefer Roibinson. If time permits we will consider an earlier author, Adorno. (A) Spring 2007.
21210/31210. Philosophy and Literature. This course is a reading of works by a variety of contemporary authors who deal with the question of whether, and how, fiction and philosophy are related to one another. (A) Winter 2005, Winter 2007, Winter 2010, Winter 2011, Autumn 2013.
21900/31300. Aesthetics of Hume and Kant. Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: Prior knowledge of Hume's Treatise and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is useful but not required. The theory of taste and one main line in modern philosophy of art begins with these authors. Principal readings are Hume's "Of the Standard of Taste" and "Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion," and much of Kant's Critique of Judgment. Spring 2006. Autumn 2011.
21990/31990. The Concept of Taste. Open to college and grad students. The philosophical theory of taste begins in the 18th century, especially in the writing of Hume and Kant. The course begins with those authors and then moves to literature in contemporary aesthetics. Autumn 2003.
22502. Stories. Open to college students. A consideration of stories, especially fictions, with regard to our engagement with them. Relevant questions will be, how do we distinguish truth from falsity within entirely fictional texts, what kinds of feelings can we have for people and things known not to exist, what-if anything-can stories teach, and so on. Winter 2008.
23900/33900. Austin. Open to college and grad students. Our readings are in the works of J. L. Austin, mainly How to Do Things with Words, and essays related to those lectures. If time permits, we consider later developments in the works of Grice and Cavell, among others. Autumn 2005, Autumn 2007.
31310. Aesthetics and Theory of Criticism. Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Undergraduates with consent of instructor. This course is an introduction to problems in the philosophy of art with both traditional and contemporary texts. Topics include the definition of art, representation, expression, metaphor, and taste. Winter 2005, Winter 2007.
51700. Readings in Contemporary Philosophy of Art. Open to grad students. Winter 2006.
51900. Contemporary Aesthetics. Open to grad students. Recent essays in analytical aesthetics will be discussed. Spring 2003.