This essay discusses an interdisciplinary art history/philosophy course cotaught by a professor from each discipline. Fundamental questions about how we experience, understand, and communicate about art can be answered more effectively through such interdisciplinary collaboration than through each discipline alone. Students in the course tended to think of art either in purely subjective terms, in which art was simply an expression of personal taste, or entirely essentialist ones, in which the artness of a work resided completely within the object. Readings and class discussions helped students articulate these extreme viewpoints and challenge them. As a result, many of the students developed more sophisticated understandings of art and the experiences of art that avoided the pitfalls of subjectivism and essentialism. Insights from selected student papers are presented to demonstrate the kinds of thinking fostered by the course. In sum, the essay argues for the importance and success of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching art, art history, and the philosophy of art.

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