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  1. 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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  2. E. Marcia Muelder (1998). Intention, Supervenience, and Aesthetic Realism. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (3):279-293.
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  3. 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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  4. Stephanie Ross (2011). Ideal Observer Theories in Aesthetics. Philosophy Compass 6 (8):513-522.
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  5. 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 in these (...)
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Aesthetic Realism
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. E. Marcia Muelder (1998). Intention, Supervenience, and Aesthetic Realism. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (3):279-293.
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  4. 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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  5. Roger Pouivet (2005). Thomas Reid's Aesthetic Realism. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 3 (1):35-45.
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  6. 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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  7. Ian F. Verstegen (2006). A Critical Realist Perspective on Aesthetic Value. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):323-343.
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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 attributions (...)
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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?
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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.
  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. Joseph J. Firebaugh (1953). The Relativism of Henry James. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 12 (2):237-242.
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  14. 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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  15. Robert Grigg (1984). Relativism and Pictorial Realism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 42 (4):397-408.
  16. Bernard C. Heyl (1960). "Relativism" and "Objectivity" in Stephen C. Pepper's Theory of Criticism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 18 (3):378-393.
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  17. Bernard C. Heyl (1946). Relativism Again. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 5 (1):54-61.
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  18. John Hyman (2005). Ii *-Realism and Relativism in the Theory of Art. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):25-53.
    Pluralism—the incommensurability and, at times, incompatibility of objective ends—is not relativism, nor, a fortiori, subjectivism, nor the allegedly unbridgeable differences of emotional attitude on which some modern positivists, emotivists, existentialists, nationalists and, indeed, relativistic sociologists and anthropologists found their accounts.
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  19. John Hyman (2004). Realism and Relativism in the Theory of Art. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):25–53.
    Pluralism—the incommensurability and, at times, incompatibility of objective ends—is not relativism, nor, a fortiori, subjectivism, nor the allegedly unbridgeable differences of emotional attitude on which some modern positivists, emotivists, existentialists, nationalists and, indeed, relativistic sociologists and anthropologists found their accounts.
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  20. James W. Manns (1971). Representation, Relativism and Resemblance. British Journal of Aesthetics 11 (3):281-287.
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  21. Joseph Margolis (1995). Plain Talk About Interpretation on a Relativistic Model. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1):1-7.
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  22. Joseph Margolis (1976). Robust Relativism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 35 (1):37-46.
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  23. François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.) (2010). Context-Dependence, Perspective and Relativity. Mouton de Gruyter.
  24. Robert Stecker (1995). Relativism About Interpretation. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1):14-18.
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  25. Jerome Stolnitz (1960). On Objective Relativism in Aesthetics. Journal of Philosophy 57 (8):261-276.
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  26. Timothy Sundell (2011). Disagreements About Taste. Philosophical Studies 155 (2):267-288.
    I argue for the possibility of substantive aesthetic disagreements in which both parties speak truly. The possibility of such disputes undermines an argument mobilized by relativists such as Lasersohn (Linguist Philos 28:643–686, 2005) and MacFarlane (Philos Stud 132:17–31, 2007) against contextualism about aesthetic terminology. In describing the facts of aesthetic disagreement, I distinguish between the intuition of dispute on the one hand and the felicity of denial on the other. Considered separately, neither of those phenomena requires that there be a (...)
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  27. Danilo Šuster (2005). The Modality Principle and Work-Relativity of Modality. Acta Analytica 20 (4):41-52.
    Davies argues that the ontology of artworks as performances offers a principled way of explaining work-relativity of modality. Object oriented contextualist ontologies of art (Levinson) cannot adequately address the problem of work-relativity of modal properties because they understand looseness in what counts as the same context as a view that slight differences in the work-constitutive features of provenance are work-relative. I argue that it is more in the spirit of contextualism to understand looseness as context-dependent. This points to the general (...)
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  28. David Topper (1987). Toward a Retreat From Relativism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46 (2):302-304.
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  29. Wilfried Van Damme (1996). Beauty in Context: Towards an Anthropological Approach to Aesthetics. E.J. Brill.
    In surveying the field of the anthropology of aesthetics, the author argues that the phenomenon of cultural relativism in easthetic preference may be accounted ...
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  30. Crispin Wright (2006). Intuitionism, Realism, Relativism and Rhubarb. In Patrick Greenough & Michael Lynch (eds.), Truth and Realism. Clarendon Press. 38--60.
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  31. James O. Young (2009). Relativism, Standards and Aesthetic Judgements. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):221 – 231.
    This paper explores the various available forms of relativism concerning aesthetic judgement and contrasts them with aesthetic absolutism. Two important distinctions are drawn. The first is between subjectivism (which relativizes judgements to an individual's sentiments or feelings) and the relativization of aesthetic judgements to intersubjective standards. The other is between relativism about aesthetic properties and relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements. Several plausible forms of relativism about aesthetic properties are on offer, but relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements (...)
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Aesthetic Subjectivism
  1. H. G. Alexander (1955). Subjectivity in Aesthetics. Philosophical Quarterly 5 (21):329-341.
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  2. Andrew Bowie (2003). Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche. Manchester University Press.
    This new, completely revised and re-written edition of Aesthetics and subjectivity brings up to date the original book's account of the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Fichte and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Schleimacher, to Nietzsche, in view of recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities.
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  3. 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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  4. David E. W. Fenner (2010). Context Building and Educating Imaginative Engagement. Journal of Aesthetic Education 44 (3):109-123.
    In my experience—with students, colleagues, friends, myself—I find that most people view aesthetic objects and art objects (which sometimes overlap but not always) through a variety of "lenses": subjectively located, psychologically based perspectives or "contexts" through which the object is viewed, considered, appreciated, and many times even criticized. I believe that many times the depth and richness of aesthetic reward depends on the perspective through which the subject attends to an object or event. While a part of aesthetic perspectival context (...)
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  5. Denis Grey (1951). Subjectivity and the Aesthetic Use of Symbols (I). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):98 – 108.
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  6. Denis Grey (1951). Subjectivity and the Aesthetic Use of Symbols (II). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):164 – 174.
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  7. Allen Hance (1998). The Art of Nature: Hegel and the Critique of Judgment. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (1):37 – 65.
    This essay examines the reasons for Hegel's frequently professed claim that Kant's Critique of Judgment simultaneously reveals the internal limits of critical philosophy and opens the door to his own system of speculative idealism. It evaluates Hegel's contention that the conceptions of aesthetic experience, organic purposiveness, and the intuitive intellect developed in the third Critique together conspire to undermine the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of the theories of nature and freedom advanced in the first and second Critiques . Finally it (...)
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