Pleasure, Art, Culture: Remarks on Mohan Matthen's ‘The Pleasure of Art’

Robert Sinnerbrink
Macquarie University
ABSTRACTIn response to Mohan Matthen's ‘The Pleasure of Art’, I identify three issues that deserve further critical engagement: the scope of his definition of aesthetic pleasure, the role of culture in shoring up its communal and communicable character, and the need to include an account of aesthetic properties in his psychologically grounded approach to aesthetic pleasure. Without due acknowledgment of both aesthetic properties and the intersubjective role of culture, Matthen's activity-based theory of aesthetic pleasure risks lapsing into subjectivism, thereby losing the ‘communal and communicative’ character of art upon which he rightly insists.
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DOI 10.1080/24740500.2017.1296384
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