Aesthetic Realism And Metaphor

Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 6 (2) (2009)
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Abstract

One intuition we have about critical discourse is that we can distinguish between aesthetic and non-aesthetic assertions. When we say that a composition has a quick tempo and makes much use of staccato, we are remarking upon non-aesthetic features of the work. When we say of the same composition that it is vibrant, we are, in some sense, referring to an aesthetic feature. How should we draw the line between the aesthetic and non-aesthetic features of a work, and what import does the distinction have? Frank Sibley has famously claimed that there is a way to draw a line between our aesthetic and non-aesthetic terms, and moreover that the existence of this distinction supports the existence of realistic aesthetic properties. The ensuing discussions of Sibley’s claim indicate that whatever is at stake here is of great significance to aesthetics.

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