First-Personal Body Aesthetics as Affirmations of Subjectivity

Contemporary Aesthetics 17 (2019)
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This paper redirects some of the philosophical discussion of sexual objectification. Rather than contributing further to debates over what constitutes objectification and whether it is harmful, I argue that aesthetic experience is a useful tool for resisting objectification. Attending to our embodied experiences provides immediate evidence that we are subjects; aesthetically attending to that evidence is a way of valuing it. I consider the human body as an aesthetic site, then as an ethico-aesthetic site, and finally as a site of resistance. In addition to deepening accounts of body aesthetic experience, this paper helps frame human bodies as integral to moral agency, rather than impediments to it.



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Madeline Martin-Seaver
University of South Florida

Citations of this work

On the Well-being of Aesthetic Beings.Sherri Irvin - forthcoming - In Helena Fox, Kathleen Galvin, Michael Musalek, Martin Poltrum & Yuriko Saito (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Mental Health and Contemporary Western Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Resisting Body Oppression: An Aesthetic Approach.Sherri Irvin - 2017 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4):1-26.
The aesthetics of daily life.Christopher Dowling - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (3):225-242.
Bodily Disorientation and Moral Change.Ami Harbin - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (2):261-280.
Aesthetics and the Private Realm.Sherri Irvin - 2009 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2):226-230.

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