Aesthetic Hedonism and Its Critics

Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12645 (2020)
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Abstract

This essay surveys the main objections to aesthetic hedonism, the view that aesthetic value is reducible to the value of aesthetic pleasure or experience. Hedonism is the dominant view of aesthetic value, but a spate of recent criticisms has drawn its accuracy into question. I introduce some distinctions crucial to the criticisms, before using the bulk of the essay to identify and review six major lines of argument that hedonism's critics have employed against it. Whether or not these arguments suffice to refute hedonism decisively, I argue that its privileged status, as the sole contender in aesthetic value theory, is detrimental to downstream research on aesthetic phenomena. The essay concludes with an overview of current work and promising avenues of inquiry into non-hedonic alternatives.

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Servaas van der Berg
University of British Columbia (PhD)

Citations of this work

Aesthetic Practices and Normativity.Robbie Kubala - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):408-425.
Toward a Communitarian Theory of Aesthetic Value.Nick Riggle - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):16-30.
Beyond the Pleasure Principle: A Kantian Aesthetics of Autonomy.Dominic McIver Lopes - 2021 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):1-18.
The Concept of the Aesthetic.James Shelley - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations.Anthony Cross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1127-1156.

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