In defence of moderate aesthetic formalism

Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):476-493 (2000)
Abstract
Most of the debate for and against aesthetic formalism in the twentieth century has been little more than a sequence of assertions, on both sides. But there is one discussion that stands out for its argumentative subtlety and depth, and that is Kendall Walton’s paper ‘Categories of Art’.1 In what follows I shall defend a certain version of formalism against the antiformalist arguments which Walton deploys. I want to show that while Walton’s arguments do indeed create insurmountable difficulties for an extreme version of formalism, he has not shown that a moderate version is problematic or inadequate. (I have no space to address anti-formalist arguments other than Walton’s.2) I shall defend moderate formalism rather than put forward positive considerations in its favour, although some of its attractions will become apparent as a side-effect. I pursue the positive case for moderate formalism elsewhere.3 I. FORMAL PROPERTIES AND FORMALISMS I.1. Walton begins his paper by raising an issue about whether those who make aesthetic judgements should only be concerned with what can be directly perceived in works of art. The issue of formalism has often been described in these terms. But Walton rightly distances himself from setting up a debate in that way. He moves on to take as his target the view that ‘Circumstances connected with a work’s origin ... have no essential bearing on an assessment of its aesthetic nature’ (p. 334).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Crispin Sartwell (1994). Appropriation and Interpretation. Journal of Value Inquiry 28 (2):327-338.
    John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    Kendall L. Walton (1970). Categories of Art. Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
    Nick Zangwill (1998). The Concept of the Aesthetic. European Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):78–93.
    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    29 ( #50,818 of 1,088,790 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,953 of 1,088,790 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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