Scratching an Itch

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (1):25-35 (2008)
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I argue that there can be appropriate aesthetic experiences even of basic somatic experiences like itches and scratches. I show, in relation to accounts of aesthetic experience offered by Carroll and Stecker, that experiences of itches and scratches can be aesthetic; I show that itches can be objects of attention in the way that normative accounts of the aesthetic often require; and I show, in relation to accounts of the aesthetic appreciation of nature offered by Carlson and Carroll, that aesthetic experience of itches and scratches can be appropriate. I argue that attention to the domain of somatic experience is worthwhile, in that it offers the prospects of significant aesthetic satisfaction, and I suggest that even attention to unpleasant experiences like itches and pains may be aesthetically rewarding.

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Sherri Irvin
University of Oklahoma

Citations of this work

Resisting Body Oppression: An Aesthetic Approach.Sherri Irvin - 2017 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4):1-26.
Feeling Fit For Function: Haptic Touch and Aesthetic Experience.Tom Roberts - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):49-61.
Is Aesthetic Experience Possible?Sherri Irvin - 2014 - In Greg Currie Nj, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 37-56.
Environmental aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Aesthetic experience revisited.Noël Carroll - 2002 - British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2):145-168.
Aesthetic experience and aesthetic value.Robert Stecker - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):1–10.
On being moved by nature: between religion and natural history.Noël Carroll - 1993 - In . Cambridge University Press. pp. 244-266.
Art and the domain of the aesthetic.N. Carroll - 2000 - British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2):191-208.

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