Aesthetic Life and Why It Matters

Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

Nick Riggle
University of San Diego
Dominic McIver Lopes
University of British Columbia
Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp
You have a complex and detailed aesthetic life. You make aesthetic decisions every day. You wake up, shower, and dress. When you decide what to wear, you think about how it feels and fits. You have aesthetic feelings and reactions every day. The sunset swings into view as you turn a corner and you think, “That’s beautiful.” A wave of calm and pleasure wash over you. You take a bite of cake and you think, “Wow, that’s sweet.” Maybe too sweet. Almost everything you do has an aesthetic dimension—from the way you make your bed, prepare your coffee, and tie your shoes, to the way you speak to others and edit photos to post on social media. You have a complex and detailed aesthetic life that you orchestrate every day through your aesthetic decisions, reactions, feelings, and actions. But why live this way? What exactly is aesthetic life and why, if at all, does it matter? In Aesthetic Life and Why It Matters, three philosophers present their different answers to this question and discuss the many challenging and fascinating philosophical issues that arise in our aesthetic lives.
Keywords Aesthetics  Aesthetic Value  Aesthetic Life
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