David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (1):118-122 (2011)
Philosopher David E. W. Fenner walks a fine line. In Art in Context: Understanding Aesthetic Value, he attempts to throw out the dirty bathwater of formalism while leaving the baby, the work of art itself, unscathed. He defines formalism as the approach to art in which the viewer “restricts her attention to the formal properties of the object, properties that are accessible through the senses . . . in the object” (xv). Fenner is not interested in defining art, which is the primary role of professional aesthetics, but experiencing it (1). And he argues, quite rightly, that formalism cannot account for the richness of aesthetic experience. Fenner accounts for this richness through “context,” by which he means “all ..
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