|Abstract||(A) Larry Shiner address some central issues about architecturein particular, he is interested in the extent to which architectural beauty is dependent on, or independent of, various functions of buildings. What role does or should our knowledge of the functions of a building play in our aesthetic appreciation of it? I would say that a building may have various functions in addition to its aesthetic functions. One crucial question is over the way that the aesthetic and nonaesthetic functions may be interwoven, so that there may be the “aesthetic expression” of nonaesthetic functions, which is also an aesthetic function of the building. I think that there are important unsolved and unresolved issues here, of great importance in aesthetics. What exactly is it to be beautiful as something with a function. What, exactly, is the aesthetic realization of a nonaesthetic function? I hoped to make a start on these matters by invoking the notion of “dependent beauty”, roughly as Kant described it, but perhaps with some recasting. I am pleased that Shiner appreciates the utility of the Kantian dependent beauty framework for thinking about certain substantive debates about architecture. A theoretical framework should have fruitful and illuminating application in particular cases. Recasting the form/function debates in architecture as debates about different kinds of function, I think, is helpful, especially because the framework allows for more or less aesthetically significant interaction between pure aesthetic and nonaesthetic functions. Shiner pursues some architectural debates in this frameworkhe is especially insightful on issues about the reuse of buildings. (B) In Aesthetic Creation, I raised a worry about how to specify exactly which functions are relevant to the aesthetic assessment of architecture. Architectural assessment is broader than aesthetic assessment; leaking roofs are an architectural defect but not (usually) an aesthetic defect of a building..|
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