On the Aesthetic Ideal

British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (4):433-447 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

How should we pursue aesthetic value, or incorporate it into our lives, if we want to? Is there an ideal of aesthetic life? Philosophers have proposed numerous answers to the analogous question in moral philosophy, but the aesthetic question has received relatively little attention. There is, in essence, a single view, which is that one should develop a sensibility that would give one sweeping access to aesthetic value. I challenge this view on two grounds. First, it threatens to undermine our "aesthetic love", or the meaningful attachments we form with aesthetic items, e.g., poems, paintings, songs, or items of design and dress. Second, it fails to accommodate the motivational character of our encounter with beauty, which can diminish our desire to pursue the wider world of aesthetic value. I conclude that whatever the aesthetic ideal is, it must reconcile our desire to broaden our access to aesthetic value with our desire to maintain and cultivate our meaningful aesthetic attachments. I motivate the alternative thought that having style is the aesthetic ideal.

Similar books and articles

Aesthetic Ideals.Rafael De Clercq - 2008 - In Kathleen Stock & Katherine Thomson-Jones (eds.), New Waves in Aesthetics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 188-202.
Aesthetic Testimony: What Can We Learn From Others About Beauty and Art?Aaron Meskin - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):65–91.
Aesthetic Luck.Anna Christina Ribeiro - 2018 - The Monist 101 (1):99-113.
Aesthetic Style as a Postructural Business Ethic.John Dobson - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 93 (3):393 - 400.
The Riddle of Aesthetic Principles.Vojko Strahovnik - 2004 - Acta Analytica 19 (33):189-208.
Aesthetic Experience and Aesthetic Value.Robert Stecker - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):1–10.
Aesthetic Essays.Malcolm Budd - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
The Aesthetic Value of Animals.Glenn Parson - 2007 - Environmental Ethics 29 (2):151-169.
Grounding Moralism: Moral Flaws and Aesthetic Properties. Smuts - 2011 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (4):34-53.
Aesthetic Terms, Metaphor, and the Nature of Aesthetic Properties.Rafael De Clercq - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (1):27–32.
Aesthetic Experience and Value.Richard R. Mccarty - 1984 - Dissertation, University of Missouri - Columbia

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-06-28

Downloads
316 (#35,853)

6 months
36 (#30,071)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nick Riggle
University of San Diego

Citations of this work

Aesthetic Hedonism and Its Critics.Servaas Van der Berg - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12645.
The Concept of the Aesthetic.James Shelley - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Grounding Aesthetic Obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (3):271-285.
Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations.Anthony Cross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
Aesthetic Obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):1-13.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references