Relativism, standards and aesthetic judgements

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):221 – 231 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper explores the various available forms of relativism concerning aesthetic judgement and contrasts them with aesthetic absolutism. Two important distinctions are drawn. The first is between subjectivism (which relativizes judgements to an individual's sentiments or feelings) and the relativization of aesthetic judgements to intersubjective standards. The other is between relativism about aesthetic properties and relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements. Several plausible forms of relativism about aesthetic properties are on offer, but relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements is more elusive. In particular, John MacFarlane's approach to relativism is shown not to result in relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements.

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James O. Young
University of Victoria

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References found in this work

The Rationality of Science.W. Newton-Smith - 1981 - Boston: Routledge.
Index, context, and content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.
Future contingents and relative truth.John MacFarlane - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):321–336.
Making sense of relative truth.John MacFarlane - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):321–339.
Of the standard of taste.David Hume - 1875 - In Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Indianapolis: Liberty Press. pp. 226-249.

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