University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee

Field of Philosophy: Aesthetics; Metaphysics

Plot Summary: Felix Clousseau enters his painting of a duck in an art contest held by the Royal Palace in Paris. The judges think his painting is ridiculous, compared to the other art masterpieces entered in the contest, until they hear a loud “quack” from the duck in the painting. The judges award Clousseau the grand prize because there isn't another artist who can bring his subjects to life in the same way, and Clousseau becames famous. Eventually even the king commissions a painted from Clouseau, called, "The Sleeping Boa Constrictor." But when the sleeping boa awakes from its slumber, problems ensue.

Some Discussion Questions:

WHAT MAKES SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
A painting.
A smile.
A sunset.
A story.
A lamp.
A spider.
A flower.
A horse.
A potato.
A baby.
A cloud.
Music.
A tree.
A person.

CAN WE HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS ABOUT WHAT BEAUTY IS?

What does something have to have to be beautiful? Anything?

What does it feel like when something is beautiful to us? Is this always true?

For something to be beautiful, does someone have to think it’s beautiful? Can something be beautiful if no one thinks it is?

If something is beautiful, is it always beautiful?