Sentimentalism and the Intersubjectivity of Aesthetic Evaluations

Dialectica 61 (3):417-446 (2007)

Authors
Fabian Dorsch
Université de Fribourg
Abstract
Within the debate on the epistemology of aesthetic appreciation, it has a long tradition, and is still very common, to endorse the sentimentalist view that our aesthetic evaluations are rationally grounded on, or even constituted by, certain of our emotional responses to the objects concerned. Such a view faces, however, the serious challenge to satisfactorily deal with the seeming possibility of faultless disagreement among emotionally based and epistemically appropriate verdicts. I will argue that the sentimentalist approach to aesthetic epistemology cannot accept and accommodate this possibility without thereby undermining the assumed capacity of emotions to justify corresponding aesthetic evaluations – that is, without undermining the very sentimentalist idea at the core of its account. And I will also try to show that sentimentalists can hope to deny the possibility of faultless disagreement only by giving up the further view that aesthetic assessments are intersubjective – a view which is almost as traditional and widely held in aesthetics as sentimentalism, and which is indeed often enough combined with the latter. My ultimate conclusion is therefore that this popular combination of views should better be avoided: either sentimentalism or intersubjectivism has to make way.
Keywords sentimentalism  aesthetic evaluation  aesthetic judgement  faultless disagreement  Humean aesthetics  Kantian aesthetics  aesthetic emotions
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2007.01106.x
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Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Limits of Aesthetic Empiricism.Fabian Dorsch - 2014 - In Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-100.
Emotional Imagining and Our Responses to Fiction.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Enrahonar: Quaderns de Filosofía 46:153-176.
The Aesthetic Relevance of Empirical Findings.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Kongress-Akten der Deutschen Gesellschaft Für Ästhetik 2:1-21.

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