Aesthetics is part of the philosophical tradition. Research in the field has traditionally focused on philosophical questions related to art and beauty. Lately, various environmental and everyday phenomena, as well as modes of perception and experience that characterise the modern world, have become important research topics equal to the more traditional examination of art.
At the University, aesthetics is situated in the middle ground between philosophy and art studies: it examines the theoretical principles of art studies and philosophical problems arising in the field of art, as well as the way in which questions of aesthetics are intertwined with questions of ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. Furthermore, aesthetics examines phenomena expressed throughout culture, which may lead to research topics that touch upon other special sciences, such as sociology, psychology and cultural studies.
Traditional problems in aesthetics have revolved around the essence of art and the nature of artworks, as well as the experience, meaning and interpretation of art. These also include conceptual problems concerned with performance and perception. Other traditional questions are those on the nature of beauty, as well as the principles of aesthetic evaluation and criticism. Environmental aesthetics studies similar questions from the perspective of the built and natural environment, giving consideration to human interaction with the environment and the significance of aesthetic values as part of the environment. Aesthetics also examines phenomena of everyday life and popular culture, as well as questions of cultural aestheticisation.