Feasible aesthetic formalism

Noûs 33 (4):610-629 (1999)
Aesthetic Formalism has fallen on hard times. At best it receives unsympathetic discussion and swift rejection. At worst it is the object of abuse and derision. But I think that there is something to be said for it. In this paper, I shall try to find and secure the truth in formalism. I shall not try to defend formalism against all of the objections to it.1 Instead I shall articulate a moderate formalist view that draws on aesthetic0nonaesthetic determination and Kant’s distinction between free and dependent beauty. I shall examine four central art forms—painting, sculpture, lit-.
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