A Structural Disanalogy between Aesthetic and Ethical Value Judgements

British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1):51-67 (2011)
It is often suggested that aesthetic and ethical value judgements are similar in such a way that they should be analysed in analogous manners. In this paper, I argue that the two types of judgements share four important features concerning disagreement, motivation, categoricity, and argumentation. This, I maintain, helps to explain why many philosophers have thought that aesthetic and ethical value judgements can be analysed in accordance with the same dispositional scheme which corresponds to the analogy between secondary qualities and values. However, I argue that aesthetic and ethical value judgements differ as regards their fundamental structures. This scheme is mistaken as regards ethical value judgements, but it is able to account for aesthetic value judgements. This implies that aesthetic value judgements are autonomous in relation to ethical value judements and that aestheticians, not moral philosophers, are the true heirs of this renowned analogy
Keywords aesthetic value judgments  ethical value judgments  motivation
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayq025
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