Authors
Mohan Matthen
University of Toronto at Mississauga
Abstract
This paper presents a new account of aesthetic pleasure, according to which it is a distinct psychological structure marked by a characteristic self-reinforcing motivation. Pleasure figures in the appreciation of an object in two ways: In the short run, when we are in contact with particular artefacts on particular occasions, aesthetic pleasure motivates engagement and keeps it running smoothly—it may do this despite the fact that the object we engagement is aversive in some ways. Over longer periods, it plays a critical role in shaping how we engage with objects to get this kind of pleasure from them. This account is yoked to a broadly functional understanding of art: it is not the nature of the object that makes it art, but the nature of the response that it is designed to elicit. The view does not, however, rest on individual psychology alone, as some other functional accounts do. Crucially, it is argued that shared cultural context is a key determinant of the pleasure we derive from aesthetic artefacts. The pleasure of art is always communal and communicative.
Keywords aesthetics  pleasure  art  aesthetic attitude  psychology of art
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1080/24740500.2017.1287034
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References found in this work BETA

The Reduction of Sensory Pleasure to Desire.Chris Heathwood - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):23-44.
How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
What is Conscious Attention?Wayne Wu - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):93-120.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Aesthetic Hedonism and Its Critics.Servaas Van der Berg - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12645.
On Liking Aesthetic Value.Keren Gorodeisky - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
The Authority of Pleasure.Keren Gorodeisky - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):1-22.
The Motivational Structure of Appreciation.Servaas van der Berg - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):445-466.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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