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The authority of pleasure

Noûs 55 (1):199-220 (2021)

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  1. Knowing When to Stop.Uku Tooming - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):65-78.
    What are the conditions under which an agent has an aesthetic reason to stop appreciating something? In this paper, I argue that such a reason is dependent not only on the aesthetic properties of the object of appreciation but also on the hedonic state of the agent. Virtuous aesthetic agents who are responsive to aesthetic reasons need to be sensitive to hedonic changes in relation to the object and to recognise when these changes make it appropriate to sever one’s appreciative (...)
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  • The Geography of Taste.Dominic Lopes, Samantha Matherne, Mohan Matthen & Bence Nanay - 2024 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Aesthetic preferences and practices vary widely between individuals and between cultures. How should aesthetics proceed if we take this fact of aesthetic diversity, rather than the presumption of aesthetic universality, as our starting point? How should we theorize the cultural origins and cultural basis of aesthetic diversity? How should we think about the value and normativity of aesthetic diversity? In an effort to model what the turn toward diversity might look like in aesthetic inquiry, each author defends a different account (...)
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  • Categorizing Art.Kiyohiro Sen - 2024 - Dissertation, University of Tokyo
    This dissertation examines the practice of categorizing works of art and its relationship to art criticism. How a work of art is categorized influences how it is appreciated and criticized. Being frightening is a merit for horror, but a demerit for lullabies. The brushstrokes in Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" (1874) look crude when seen as a Neoclassical painting, but graceful when seen as an Impressionist painting. Many of the judgments we make about artworks are category-dependent in this way, but previous research (...)
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  • Admiration, Appreciation, and Aesthetic Worth.Daniel Whiting - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):375-389.
    What is aesthetic appreciation? In this paper, I approach this question in an indirection fashion. First, I introduce the Kantian notion of moral worthy action and an influential analysis of it. Next, I generalise that analysis from the moral to the aesthetic domain, and from actions to affects. Aesthetic appreciation, I suggest, consists in an aesthetically worthy affective response. After unpacking the proposal, I show that it has non-trivial implications while cohering with a number of existing insights concerning the nature (...)
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  • Agency and aesthetic identity.Kenneth Walden - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3253-3277.
    Schiller says that “it is only through beauty that man makes his way to freedom.” Here I attempt to defend a claim in the same spirit as Schiller’s but by different means. My thesis is that a person’s autonomous agency depends on their adopting an aesthetic identity. To act, we need to don contingent features of agency, things that structure our practical thought and explain what we do in very general terms but are neither universal nor necessary features of agency (...)
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  • Art, Affectivity, and Aesthetic Value: Geiger on the Role of Emotions in Aesthetic Appreciation.Íngrid Vendrell Ferran - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 10 (2):143 - 159.
    This paper explores Moritz Geiger’s work on the role of emotions in aesthetic appreciation and shows its potential for contemporary research. Drawing on the main tenets of Geiger’s phenomenological aesthetics as an aesthetics of value, the paper begins by elaborating his model of aesthetic appreciation. I argue that, placed in the contemporary debate, his model is close to affective models which make affective states responsible for the apprehension of the aesthetic value of an artwork, though Geiger also makes important concessions (...)
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  • Aesthetic Experience and Intellectual Pursuits.Elisabeth Schellekens - 2022 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 96 (1):123-146.
    The main aim of this paper is to examine the practice of describing intellectual pursuits in aesthetic terms, and to investigate whether this practice can be accounted for in the framework of a standard conception of aesthetic experience. Following a discussion of some historical approaches, the paper proposes a way of conceiving of aesthetic experience as both epistemically motivating and epistemically inventive. It is argued that the aesthetics of intellectual pursuits should be considered as central rather than marginal to our (...)
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  • Transparency is Surveillance.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):331-361.
    In her BBC Reith Lectures on Trust, Onora O’Neill offers a short, but biting, criticism of transparency. People think that trust and transparency go together but in reality, says O'Neill, they are deeply opposed. Transparency forces people to conceal their actual reasons for action and invent different ones for public consumption. Transparency forces deception. I work out the details of her argument and worsen her conclusion. I focus on public transparency – that is, transparency to the public over expert domains. (...)
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  • The Aesthetic Enkratic Principle.Irene Martínez Marín - 2023 - British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (2):251–268.
    There is a dimension of rationality, known as structural rationality, according to which a paradigmatic example of what it means to be rational is not to be akratic. Although some philosophers claim that aesthetics falls within the scope of rationality, a non-akrasia constraint prohibiting certain combinations of attitudes is yet to be developed in this domain. This essay is concerned with the question of whether such a requirement is plausible and, if so, whether it is an actual requirement of aesthetic (...)
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  • Two Dogmas of Aesthetic Empiricism.Dominic McIver Lopes - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (5):583-592.
    Aesthetic hedonism is the default theory of aesthetic value. Some of its critics share with it a pair of unquestioned assumptions, namely, that any theory of aesthetic value should make special appeal to its being the case that the canonical form of aesthetic evaluation is a state of pleasure and to its being the case that the canonical purpose of aesthetic acts is to access pleasure. This paper argues that there is reason to doubt both assumptions. Doubting both assumptions suggests (...)
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  • The Musicality of Speech.James H. P. Lewis - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
    It is common for people to be sensitive to aesthetic qualities in one another’s speech. We allow the loveliness or unloveliness of a person’s voice to make impressions on us. What is more, it is also common to allow those aesthetic impressions to affect how we are inclined to feel about the speaker. We form attitudes of liking, trusting, disliking or distrusting partly in virtue of the aesthetic qualities of a person’s speech. In this paper I ask whether such attitudes (...)
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  • The aesthetics of coming to know someone.James H. P. Lewis - 2023 - Philosophical Studies (5-6):1-16.
    This paper is about the similarity between the appreciation of a piece of art, such as a cherished music album, and the loving appreciation of a person whom one knows well. In philosophical discussion about the rationality of love, the Qualities View (QV) says that love can be justified by reference to the qualities of the beloved. I argue that the oft-rehearsed trading-up objection fails to undermine the QV. The problems typically identified by the objection arise from the idea that (...)
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  • Aesthetic obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):e12712.
    Are there aesthetic obligations, and what would account for their binding force if so? I first develop a general, domain‐neutral notion of obligation, then critically discuss six arguments offered for and against the existence of aesthetic obligations. The most serious challenge is that all aesthetic obligations are ultimately grounded in moral norms, and I survey the prospects for this challenge alongside three non‐moral views about the source of aesthetic obligations: individual practical identity, social practices, and aesthetic value primitivism. I conclude (...)
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  • A Fitting-Attitude Approach to Aesthetic Value?Uriah Kriegel - 2023 - British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (1):57-73.
    It is a noteworthy disanalogy between contemporary ethics and aesthetics that the fitting-attitude account of value, so prominent in contemporary ethics, sees comparatively little play in aesthetics. The aim of this paper is to articulate what a systematic fitting-attitude-style framework for understanding aesthetic value might look like. In the bulk of the paper, I sketch possible fitting-attitude-style accounts of three central aesthetic values – the beautiful, the sublime, and the powerful – so that the general form of the framework come (...)
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  • On Liking Aesthetic Value.Keren Gorodeisky - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):261-280.
    According to tradition, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to a certain feeling of liking or pleasure. Is that true? Two answers are on offer in the field of aesthetics today: 1. The Hedonist answers: Yes, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to pleasure insofar as this value is constituted and explained by the power of its possessors to please (under standard conditions). 2. The Non-Affectivist answers: No. At best, pleasure is contingently related to aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is (...)
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  • Must Reasons Be Either Theoretical or Practical? Aesthetic Criticism and Appreciative Reasons.Keren Gorodeisky - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):313-329.
    ABSTRACT A long debate in aesthetics concerns the reasoned nature of criticism. The main questions in the debate ask whether criticism is based on reasons, whether critics communicate reasons for their audience’s responses, and, if so, how to understand these critical reasons. I argue that a great obstacle to making any progress in this debate is the deeply engrained assumption, shared by all sides of the debate, that reasons can only be either theoretical reasons or practical reasons. My aims are (...)
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  • Aesthetic Value: The View from Here.Keren Gorodeisky - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 81 (1):85-86.
    Engagements with aesthetic value pervade human life. We choose these shoes because they beautifully match the pants; travel to Petra on account of its beauty; o.
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  • Hegel's End of Art and the Artwork as an Internally Purposive Whole.Gerad Gentry - 2023 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 61 (3):473-498.
    Abstractabstract:Hegel's end-of-art thesis is arguably the most notorious assertion in aesthetics. I outline traditional interpretive strategies before offering an original alternative to these. I develop a conception of art that facilitates a reading of Hegel on which he is able to embrace three seemingly contradictory theses about art, namely, (i) the end-of-art thesis, (ii) the continued significance of art for its own sake (autonomy thesis), and (iii) the necessity of art for robust knowledge (epistemicnecessity thesis). I argue that Hegel is (...)
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  • Artworks are Valuable for Their Own Sake.Gerad Gentry - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 9(2) 9 (2):234-252.
    To hold that artworks are valuable for their own sake—regardless of whatever secondary value they may have, such as entertainment, formation, education, or a pleasurable experience—is to hold that their final worth is not derived from external or secondary ends. I call this collective set of views the end-in-itself view. Nicholas Stang recently leveled a twofold charge of reductio ad absurdum and operating from a double standard against the EI view. In this article, I refute Stang by showing that the (...)
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  • The Sublime of Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa & Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    The aesthetic tradition has identified as paradigmatically sublime such objects as imposing mountains and intense storms, as well as monumental art. But the tradition also acknowledges less paradigmatic cases, including sometimes mathematical structures or abstract concepts. In this paper, we argue that there is also a case for considering phenomenal consciousness – the experiential quality of subjective awareness – as a sublime phenomenon. One appreciates this, we argue, when one is struck by (fitting) awe upon contemplating (a) the perplexing existence (...)
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  • Aesthetic Value and the Practice of Aesthetic Valuing.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    A theory of aesthetic value should explain what makes aesthetic value good. Current views about what makes aesthetic value good privilege the individual’s encounter with aesthetic value—listening to music, reading a novel, writing a poem, or viewing a painting. What makes aesthetic value good is its benefit to the individual appreciator. But engagement with aesthetic value is often a social, participatory matter: sharing and discussing aesthetic goods, imitating aesthetic agents, dancing, cooking, dining, or making music together. This article argues that (...)
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  • The concept of the aesthetic.James Shelley - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Introduced into the philosophical lexicon during the Eighteenth Century, the term ‘aesthetic’ has come to be used to designate, among other things, a kind of object, a kind of judgment, a kind of attitude, a kind of experience, and a kind of value. For the most part, aesthetic theories have divided over questions particular to one or another of these designations: whether artworks are necessarily aesthetic objects; how to square the allegedly perceptual basis of aesthetic judgments with the fact that (...)
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  • Aesthetic Agency.Keren Gorodeisky - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. pp. 456-466.
    Until very recently, there has been no discussion of aesthetic agency. This is likely because aesthetics has traditionally focused not on action, but on appreciation, while the standard approach identifies ‘agency’ with the will, and, more specifically, with the capacity for intentional action. In this paper, I argue, first, that this identification is unfortunate since it fails to do justice to the fact that we standardly attribute beliefs, emotions, desires, and other conative and affective attitudes that aren’t formed ‘at will,’ (...)
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