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  1. Lance Aschliman & Jordan Schummer (forthcoming). A Contextualist Semantics for Aesthetic Judgments. Inquiry:1-31.
    In this paper, we present and defend a modest anti-realist conception of aesthetic properties – e.g. being unified, moving, delicate, tragic, etc – in order to motivate a contextualist semantic view about aesthetic judgments. We argue that aesthetic properties are plausibly seen as viewpoint-dependent even though our epistemic access to the presence of aesthetic properties is decidedly more complicated than other, less controversial instances of viewpoint-dependent properties. On the basis of our anti-realist conception, we argue, utilizing the Kaplanian distinction between (...)
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  2. Carl Baker (forthcoming). An Absolutist Theory of Faultless Disagreement. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
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  3. Carl Baker & Jon Robson (2015). An Absolutist Theory of Faultless Disagreement in Aesthetics. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
    Some philosophers writing on the possibility of faultless disagreement have argued that the only way to account for the intuition that there could be disagreements which are faultless in every sense is to accept a relativistic semantics. In this article we demonstrate that this view is mistaken by constructing an absolutist semantics for a particular domain – aesthetic discourse – which allows for the possibility of genuinely faultless disagreements. We argue that this position is an improvement over previous absolutist responses (...)
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  4. John Bender (2005). Aesthetic Realism 2. In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. OUP Oxford 80-98.
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  5. Arnold Cusmariu, Realizing Beauty.
    Tackling the question whether beauty is a property as if the problem of universals could safely be ignored leads to confusions exemplified in Scruton 2009, McMahon 2007, Zangwill 2001 and Scarry 1999, among recent writers. I frame the question in the proper context with a measure of precision, clear away misunderstandings, present a logically valid argument for an affirmative answer, list three relevant and four irrelevant ways of countering the argument, and show that well-known views of Hume and Kant yield (...)
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  6. Rafael De Clercq (2013). Beauty. In Berys Gaut Gaut & Dominic Lopes (eds.), Routledge Companion to Aesthetics 3rd Edition. Routledge
    This survey chapter focuses on two questions concerning the nature of beauty. First, can “beauty” be defined, and if so, how? Second, what is the relation between beauty and the mind; for example, between being beautiful and being judged beautiful, or between being beautiful and being the object of pleasure?
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  7. Michalle Gal (2015). Aestheticism: Deep Formalism and the Emergence of Modernist Aesthetics. Peter Lang AG.
    This book offers, for the first time in aesthetics, a comprehensive account of aestheticism of the 19<SUP>th</SUP> century as a philosophical theory of its own right. Taking philosophical and art-historical viewpoints, this cross-disciplinary book presents aestheticism as the foundational movement of modernist aesthetics of the 20<SUP>th</SUP> century. Emerging in the writings of the foremost aestheticists - Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, James Whistler, and their formalist successors such as Clive Bell, Roger Fry, and Clement Greenberg - aestheticism offers a uniquely synthetic (...)
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  8. Jan Hrkut (2012). Aesthetic Normativity and Realism. Filozofia 67 (5):353-361.
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  9. Max Kölbel (forthcoming). Aesthetic Judge-Dependence and Expertise. Inquiry:1-29.
    This paper expounds and defends a judge-dependence account of aesthetic concepts, where aesthetic concepts are construed widely, to include for example both concepts of personal taste and more narrowly aesthetic concepts. According to such an account, it can depend on personal features of a judge whether it is correct for that judge to apply an aesthetic concept to a given object. After introducing and motivating the account, the article sets out to explain how some aesthetic questions can seem more objective (...)
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  10. Max Kölbel (2002). Truth Without Objectivity. Routledge.
    The mainstream view in the philosophy of language holds that every meaningful sentence has a truth-condition. This view, however, runs into difficulties with non-objective sentences such as sentences on matters of taste or value: these do not appear to be either true or false, but are generally taken to be meaningful. How can this conflict be resolved? -/- Truth Without Objectivity examines various ways of resolving this fundamental problem, before developing and defending its own original solution, a relativist theory of (...)
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  11. E. Marcia Muelder (1998). Intention, Supervenience, and Aesthetic Realism. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (3):279-293.
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  12. Richard W. Miller (1997). Three Versions of Objectivity: Moral, Aesthetic and Scientific. In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection. Cambridge University Press
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  13. Lloyd Reinhardt (1991). Aesthetic Realism. Literature & Aesthetics 1:28-38.
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  14. Stephanie Ross (2011). Ideal Observer Theories in Aesthetics. Philosophy Compass 6 (8):513-522.
    I examine the prospects for an ideal observer theory in aesthetics modelled on Roderick Firth’s 1952 paper ‘Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer’. The first generation of philosophers to consider an Ideal Aesthetic Observer found fault with Firth’s omniscience condition; more recent writers have criticized the affective component of an IAO’s response. In the end, most discussants reject the possibility of an IAO theory. Though the IAO theory gets the model wrong for answering meta‐aesthetic questions, revisiting the debate prompts useful (...)
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  15. Karl Schafer (2011). Faultless Disagreement and Aesthetic Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):265-286.
    It has recently been argued that certain areas of discourse, such as discourse about matters of taste, involve a phenomenon of ‘‘ faultless disagreement ’’ that rules out giving a standard realist or contextualist semantics for them. Thus, it is argued, we are left with no choice but to consider more adventurous semantic alternatives for these areas, such as a semantic account that involves relativizing truth to perspectives or contexts of assessment. I argue that the sort of faultless disagreement present (...)
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  16. James O. Young (1997). Relativism and the Evaluation of Art. Journal of Aesthetic Education 31 (1).
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Aesthetic Realism
  1. Emmanuel Alloa (2015). Could Perspective Ever Be a Symbolic Form? Revisiting Panofsky with Cassirer. Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 2 (1):51-72.
    Erwin Panofsky’s essay “Perspective as Symbolic Form” from 1924 is among the most widely commented essays in twentieth-century aesthetics and was discussed with regard to art theory, Renaissance painting, Western codes of depiction, history of optical devices, psychology of perception, or even ophthalmology. Strangely enough, however, almost nothing has been written about the philosophical claim implicit in the title, i.e. that perspective is a symbolic form among others. The article situates the essay within the intellectual constellation at Aby Warburg’s Kulturwissenschaftliche (...)
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  2. G. Anthony Bruno (2009). Aesthetic Value, Intersubjectivity and the Absolute Conception of the World. Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 6 (3).
    In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant diagnoses an antinomy of taste: either determinate concepts exhaust judgments of taste or they do not. That is to say, judgments of taste are either objective and public or subjective and private. On the objectivity thesis, aesthetic value is predicable of objects. But determining the concepts that would make a judgment of taste objective is a vexing matter. Who can say which concepts these would be? To what authority does one appeal? (...)
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  3. Florian Cova & Nicolas Pain (2012). Can Folk Aesthetics Ground Aesthetic Realism? The Monist 95 (2):241-263.
    We challenge an argument that aims to support Aesthetic Realism by claiming, first, that common sense is realist about aesthetic judgments because it considers that aesthetic judgments can be right or wrong, and, second, that becauseAesthetic Realism comes from and accounts for “folk aesthetics,” it is the best aesthetic theory available.We empirically evaluate this argument by probing whether ordinary people with no training whatsoever in the subtle debates of aesthetic philosophy consider their aesthetic judgments as right or wrong. Having shown (...)
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  4. Davor Dzalto (2015). Art: A Brief History of Absence. Filozofija I Društvo 26 (3):652-676.
    This essay focuses on the logic of the aesthetic argument used in the eighteenth century as a conceptual tool for formulating the modern concept of “(fine) art(s).” The essay also examines the main developments in the history of the art of modernity which were initiated from the way the “nature” of art was conceived in early modern aesthetics. The author claims that the formulation of the “aesthetic nature” of art led to the process of the gradual disappearance of all of (...)
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  5. E. Marcia Muelder (1998). Intention, Supervenience, and Aesthetic Realism. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (3):279-293.
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  6. Rafe McGregor (2010). Hutcheson's Idea of Beauty and the Doomsday Scenario. Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 7 (1):13-23.
    Francis Hutcheson is generally accepted as producing the first systematic study of aesthetics, in the first treatise of An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, initially published in 1725. His theory reflected the eighteenth century concern with beauty rather than art, and has drawn accusations of vagueness since the first critical response, by Charles Louis DeVillete in 1750. The most serious critique concerns the idea of beauty itself: whether it was simple or complex, and the (...)
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  7. Jennifer A. McMahon (2002). Review of The Metaphysics of Beauty. [REVIEW] Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (4):358-60.
    This book is a compilation of papers that Zangwill has had published previously in a number of journals; this journal among them. The topics of these papers centre on the nature of aesthetic properties. Read as such, the papers are, for the most part, erudite and illuminating, presenting as they do a very clear synthesis of various well known positions on the relation of aesthetic properties to non-aesthetic properties; the relation of beauty to other aesthetic concepts; and the nature of (...)
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  8. Bence Nanay (forthcoming). Perceptual Learning, the Mere Exposure Effect and Aesthetic Antirealism. Leonardo.
    It has been argued that some recent experimental findings about the mere exposure effect can be used to argue for aesthetic antirealism: the view that there is no fact of the matter about aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is to assess this argument and point out that this strategy, as it stands, does not work. But we may still be able to use experimental findings about the mere exposure effect in order to engage with the aesthetic realism/antirealism debate. (...)
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  9. Roger Pouivet (2005). Thomas Reid's Aesthetic Realism. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 3 (1):35-45.
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  10. Mark Sainsbury (2012). 'Of Course There Are Fictional Characters'. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4:615-40.
    There is no straightforward inference from there being fictional characters to any interesting form of realism. One reason is that “fictional” may be an intensional operator with wide scope, depriving the quantifier of its usual force. Another is that not all uses of “there are” are ontologically committing. A realist needs to show that neither of these phenomena are present in “There are fictional characters”. Other roads to realism run into difficulties when negotiating the role that presupposition plays when we (...)
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  11. Lars Spuybroek (forthcoming). The Compass of Beauty: A Search for the Middle. In Maria Voyatzaki (ed.), Architectural Materialisms: Nonhuman Creativity. Edinburgh University Press
    This chapter is a rethinking of my earlier “The Ages of Beauty” which investigated Charles Hartshorne’s Diagram of Aesthetic Values. The argument is placed in a long history of beauty being considered as the middle between extremes. It slowly develops into a structure not merely of aesthetic experience but of existence itself, making it a competitor of Heidegger’s fourfold.
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  12. Lars Spuybroek (2015). The Acrobatics of the Figure: Piranesi and Magnificence. In Dr J. G. Wallis de Vries (ed.), ARCHESCAPE: The Piranesi Flights. 1001 Publishers 5-11.
    An essay, which I wrote for the catalog to the exhibition “ARCHESCAPE: the Piranesi Flights,” organized by the Dutch Piranesi scholar Gijs Wallis de Vries. The text, which is necessarily kept short, uses notions of the magnificent and the tragic that I discovered in Hartshorne’s Aesthetic Diagram as discussed in “The Ages of Beauty.”.
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  13. Lars Spuybroek (2014). Charis and Radiance: The Ontological Dimensions of Beauty. In S. Van Tuinen (ed.), Giving and Taking: Antidotes to a Culture of Greed. 119-149.
    This essay developed out of the final chapter of The Sympathy of Things where I related beauty to a notion of radical generosity. Tracing generosity back to the ancient Greeks brought me to a whole new world of grace and “charis”, the etymological root of words like charisma and charity. The essay establishes a fundamental connection between grace and beauty, deeply interrelating movement and object. In the second part the argument develops into an ontology based on the concept of radiance, (...)
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  14. Ian F. Verstegen (2006). A Critical Realist Perspective on Aesthetic Value. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):323-343.
    _ Source: _Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 323 - 343 The following article attempts to bring critical realism to bear on the changing nature of aesthetic value. Beginning with the transitive-intransitive distinction, it is advised that we withhold judgment on the possibility of aesthetic judgment, lest we commit the epistemic fallacy. Without hoping to attain a form of aesthetic value absolutism, a strategy of ‘eliminative realism’ is introduced, which seeks to remove false causes of apparent judgmental relativism. Then a rough (...)
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Aesthetic Relativism
  1. Carl Baker, The Limits of Faultless Disagreement.
    Some have argued that the possibility of faultless disagreement gives relativist semantic theories an important explanatory advantage over their absolutist and contextualist rivals. Here I combat this argument, focusing on the specific case of aesthetic discourse. My argument has two stages. First, I argue that while relativists may be able to account for the possibility of faultless aesthetic disagreement, they nevertheless face difficulty in accounting for the intuitive limits of faultless disagreement. Second, I develop a new non-relativist theory which can (...)
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  2. Carl Baker (2012). Indexical Contextualism and the Challenges From Disagreement. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):107-123.
    In this paper I argue against one variety of contextualism about aesthetic predicates such as “beautiful.” Contextualist analyses of these and other predicates have been subject to several challenges surrounding disagreement. Focusing on one kind of contextualism— individualized indexical contextualism —I unpack these various challenges and consider the responses available to the contextualist. The three responses I consider are as follows: giving an alternative analysis of the concept of disagreement ; claiming that speakers suffer from semantic blindness; and claiming that (...)
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  3. Monroe C. Beardsley (1983). The Refutation of Relativism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41 (3):265-270.
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  4. Gordon C. F. Bearn (1991). Still Looking for Proof: A Critique of Smith's Relativism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (4):297-306.
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  5. Paul Boghossian (2006). What is Relativism? In Patrick Greenough & Michael Lynch (eds.), Truth and Relativism. Clarendon Press 13--37.
    Many philosophers, however, have been tempted to be relativists about specific domains of discourse, especially about those domains that have a normative character. Gilbert Harman, for example, has defended a relativistic view of morality, Richard Rorty a relativistic view of epistemic justification, and Crispin Wright a relativistic view of judgments of taste.¹ But what exactly is it to be a relativist about a given domain of discourse? The term ‘‘relativism’’ has, of course, been used in a bewildering variety of senses (...)
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  6. G. Anthony Bruno (2009). Aesthetic Value, Intersubjectivity and the Absolute Conception of the World. Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 6 (3).
    In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant diagnoses an antinomy of taste: either determinate concepts exhaust judgments of taste or they do not. That is to say, judgments of taste are either objective and public or subjective and private. On the objectivity thesis, aesthetic value is predicable of objects. But determining the concepts that would make a judgment of taste objective is a vexing matter. Who can say which concepts these would be? To what authority does one appeal? (...)
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  7. Brandon Cooke (2007). Imagining Art. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1):29-45.
    Aesthetic discourse is highly metaphorical, and many art-critical metaphors seem to be genuinely informative. Aesthetic property realism holds that the characteristic terms of aesthetic discourse pick out mind-independent properties. The prevalence of metaphor is a problem for realism, then, because most art-critical metaphors are true only when artworks are imagined in a certain way. Realist attempts to consign metaphor to the roles of filling lexical gaps or picking out mind-independent but ineffable properties fail. I argue that a cognitivist aesthetic anti-realism (...)
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  8. Brandon Cooke (2002). Critical Pluralism Unmasked. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (3):296-309.
    Artworks frequently are the objects of multiple and apparently conflicting aesthetic judgements. This commonplace of the artworld poses a challenge for realist metaphysics, because to assert conflicting judgements of an artwork seems to amount to asserting p & p. Critical pluralism is an ever-more frequently invoked solution to this impasse. What its varieties share in common is the claim that the disagreement between judgements is only an apparent one. I argue, however, that critical pluralism masquerades either as relativism or anti-realism. (...)
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  9. Daniel J. Crowley (1958). Aesthetic Judgment and Cultural Relativism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 17 (2):187-193.
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  10. Paul Crowther (2004). Defining Art, Defending the Canon, Contesting Culture. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (4):361-377.
    This paper criticizes contemporary relativist scepticism concerning the universal validity of the concepts ‘art’ and the ‘aesthetic’. As an alternative, it offers a normative definition of art based on intrinsic aesthetic meaning contextualized by innovation and refinement in the diachronic history of art media. In section I, anti-foundationalist relativism, and softer versions (found in the Institutional definitions of art) are expounded in relation to art and the aesthetic. In section II, it is argued that antifoundationalism is conceptually flawed and tacitly (...)
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  11. Stephen Davies (1995). Relativism in Interpretation. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1):8-13.
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  12. Andy Egan (2010). Disputing About Taste. In Ted Warfield & Richard Feldman (eds.), Disagreement. OUP
    i> “There’s no disputing about taste.” That’s got a nice ring to it, but it’s not quite the ring of truth. While there’s definitely something right about the aphorism – there’s a reason why it is, after all, an aphorism, and why its utterance tends to produce so much nodding of heads and muttering of “just so” and “yes, quite” – it’s surprisingly difficult to put one’s finger on just what the truth in the neighborhood is, exactly. One thing that’s (...)
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  13. Ferdinand Fellmann (2016). Zwischen Phänomen und Konstrukt. Zur Ästhetik der Gegenwartskunst. In H. Paflik-Huber (ed.), Let's Mix All Media Together. Hatje Cantz 300-311.
    Die Kunstwissenschaft zeichnet sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten dadurch aus, dass sie analog zur Entwicklung in der Kunst keine übergreifende Stilbildung mehr betreibt. In der vorliegenden Publikation nähern sich nun international anerkannte Kunstwissenschaftler, Philosophen und Medienwissenschaftler dem Begriff »Bild« – sowohl durch klassische Bildanalysen und ästhetische Fragestellungen als auch durch Versuche, einen neuen wissenschaftlichen Begriff für Kunst zu finden. Die Autoren, darunter Felix Ensslin, Frieder Nake, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Ute Meta Bauer, Katharina Sykora und Beat Wyss, erörtern, wie wir Bilder lesen (...)
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  14. Filippo Ferrari (forthcoming). Disagreement About Taste and Alethic Suberogation. Philosophical Quarterly:pqv116.
    I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth (...)
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  15. Filippo Ferrari (forthcoming). Disagreement About Taste and Alethic Suberogation. Philosophical Quarterly:pqv116.
    I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth (...)
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  16. Filippo Ferrari (2016). Disagreement About Taste and Alethic Suberogation. Philosophical Quarterly 67 (263):pqv116.
    I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: that they need not involve any substantive fault ; that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective. Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth governs judgment to (...)
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  17. Joseph J. Firebaugh (1953). The Relativism of Henry James. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 12 (2):237-242.
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  18. Michael Glanzberg (2007). Context, Content, and Relativism. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):1--29.
    This paper argues against relativism, focusing on relativism based on the semantics of predicates of personal taste. It presents and defends a contextualist semantics for these predicates, derived from current work on gradable adjectives. It then considers metasemantic questions about the kinds of contextual parameters this semantics requires. It argues they are not metasemantically different from those in other gradable adjectives, and that contextual parameters of this sort are widespread in natural language. Furthermore, this paper shows that if such parameters (...)
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  19. Robert Grigg (1984). Relativism and Pictorial Realism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 42 (4):397-408.
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  20. Karsten Harries (1975). The Infinite Sphere: Comments on the History of a Metaphor. Journal of the History of Philosophy 13 (1):5-15.
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