Aesthetic Formalism, Reactions and Solutions

Wisdom and Philosophy 6 (4):101-112 (2011)
It seems necessary to introduce the basic concepts used in this article i.e. formalism, anti-formalism and moderate formalism. Formalists believe that the aesthetic appreciation of an art work generally involves an attentive awareness of its sensory or conceptual qualities and does not require knowledge about its non-perceptual properties. Anti-formalists on the hand hold that noon of the aesthetic properties in the work of art are formal. A number of philosophers have recently advocated a more moderate formalism. According to this view although not all aesthetic properties are formal, many are, and some artworks possess only formal aesthetic qualities. The quarrel among these three rival views concerns what sort of knowledge, if any, is required for appropriate aesthetic appreciation of an art work. In what follows, we will give a brief exposition of these three view points. Subsequently we will give our preferred position with regard to these views.
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