Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (4):465-477 (2017)
AbstractRecent scientific approaches to aesthetics include evolutionary theories about the origin of art behavior, psychological investigations into human aesthetic experience and preferences, and neurophysiological explorations of the mechanisms underlying art experience. Critics of these approaches argue that they are ultimately irrelevant to a philosophical aesthetics because they cannot help us understand the distinctive conceptual basis and normativity of our art experience. This criticism may seem plausible given the piecemeal nature of these scientific approaches, but a more comprehensive naturalistic framework can help us understand the conceptual basis and normativity of art. In particular, the ecology of art, an understanding of how individuals interact within particular environments, can help us understand the engineered art niches in which we create and experience art. Each niche is associated with a particular deme, or set of individuals that interact within that niche, and a set of cognitive, epistemic, and pedagogical technologies that form the conceptual basis of a niche-dependent normativity. This is to be contrasted with the niche-independent normativity revealed by many of the scientific approaches. This framework, and the conflicting streams of normativity it reveals, allows us to better understand conflicts in normativity and the implausibility of unequivocal and universal normative principles.
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References found in this work
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Citations of this work
How Museums Make Us Feel: Affective Niche Construction and the Museum of Non-Objective Painting.Jussi A. Saarinen - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):543-558.
Babies Rule! Niches, Scaffoldings, and the Development of an Aesthetic Capacity in Humans.Mariagrazia Portera - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (3):299-314.
Making Space for Creativity: Niche Construction and the Artist’s Studio.Jussi A. Saarinen & Joel Krueger - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
Defending Scientific Naturalism in Philosophy of Art.Anton Killin - 2020 - Metascience 29 (2):289-292.
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