British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2):119-137 (2017)

Authors
Alex King
Simon Fraser University
Abstract
Subtlety is a concept as deeply intertwined with aesthetic judgements as virtually any other. But it is not clear what makes subtlety a good property of an artwork, or indeed if it is one. In this paper, I explore this under-discussed issue. First, I spend some time setting out hallmarks of subtlety and discussing different ways in which subtlety might be valuable. I then go on to defend a particular view about why subtlety is aesthetically valuable, by thinking through why heavy-handedness is aesthetically bad. In essence, subtlety is valuable because it promotes active engagement with the artwork, and heavy-handedness is bad because it forces us into too passive a role. I connect this to the role of agency and autonomy in artistic experience. Finally, I discuss some related aesthetic concepts, and expand the view of subtlety to cover borderline art forms, nature, and people themselves.
Keywords subtlety  subtle  heavy-handedness  aesthetic engagement  dewey
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayw074
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,467
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moderate Moralism.Noël Carroll - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):223-238.
Moderate Moralism.Noël Carroll - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):223-238.
Anything but Argument?Cora Diamond - 1982 - Philosophical Investigations 5 (1):23-41.
Moral and Aesthetic Judgments Reconsidered.Daniel Came - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (2):159-171.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1127-1156.
The Aesthetics of Country Music.John Dyck - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Notes on Subtlety and Ineffability in P Κ Λ.Yoshihiro Abe - 2005 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 44 (5):619-631.
Protagoras.Michael Frede - 1956 - Hackett Publishing Company.
The Subtlety of Emotions.[author unknown] - 2001 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 63 (4):810-811.
Aaron Ben-Ze Ev: The Subtlety of Emotions.Peter Zachar - 2001 - Consciousness and Emotion 2 (1):180-188.
Some Aspects of N‐Subtlety.Pierre Matet - 1988 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 34 (2):189-192.
Subtlety and Partition Relations.Toshimichi Usuba - 2016 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 62 (1-2):59-71.
Judgment Day: A Review of Aaron Ben-Ze'ev's The Subtlety Of Emotions. [REVIEW]Thomas Raab - 2002 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 8.
'Primate'— Sensationalism For Subtlety.Tabitha Powledge - 1975 - Hastings Center Report 5 (1):5-6.
Subtlety and Moral Vision in Fiction.Eileen John - 1995 - Philosophy and Literature 19 (2):308-319.
Callimachean Subtlety in Asclepiades of Samos.W. Geoffrey Arnott - 1969 - The Classical Review 19 (01):6-8.
Some Aspects Ofn-Subtlety.Pierre Matet - 1988 - Zeitschrift fur mathematische Logik und Grundlagen der Mathematik 34 (2):189-192.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-03-24

Total views
30 ( #349,526 of 2,421,213 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #192,306 of 2,421,213 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes