The structure of aesthetic properties

Philosophy Compass 3 (5):894-909 (2008)
Abstract
Aesthetic properties are often thought to have either no evaluative component or an evaluative component that can be isolated from their descriptive component. The present article argues that this popular view is without adequate support. First, doubt is cast on the idea that some paradigmatic aesthetic properties are purely descriptive. Second, the idea that the evaluative component of an aesthetic property can always be neatly separated from its descriptive component is called into question. Meanwhile, a speculative hypothesis is launched regarding the structure of being garish and being cacophonous. Finally, an explanation is given of how the issue of the structure of aesthetic properties bears on their reality and (presumed) response-dependence.
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