The problem of non-perceptual art

British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (4):363-378 (2003)
Consider the following three propositions: (R) Artworks necessarily have aesthetic properties that are relevant to their appreciation as artworks. (S) Aesthetic properties necessarily depend, at least in part, on properties perceived by means of the five senses. (X) There exist artworks that need not be perceived by means of the five senses to be appreciated as artworks. The independent plausibility and apparent joint inconsistency of these three propositions give rise to what I refer to as ‘the problem of non-perceptual art’. Assuming that the propositions are independently plausible and jointly inconsistent, there will be three ways of solving the problem: you may affirm (R) and (S) while denying (X); you may affirm (S) and (X) while denying (R); or you may affirm (R) and (X) while denying (S). The first of these, once the orthodox solution, has been displaced in recent years by the second. The third has never really been defended. I defend it here. If successful, my defence will have shown that there is reason to deny the existence of non-aesthetic art and no reason to believe that art is not essentially aesthetic.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/43.4.363
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
James Shelley (2010). Against Value Empiricism in Aesthetics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):707-720.
Jon Robson (2014). Aesthetic Autonomy and Self-Aggrandisement. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:3-28.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

78 ( #43,354 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.