The chapter challenges hyperbolic claims about the centrality of appreciation of beauty to Buddhism. Within the texts, attitudes are more mixed, except for a form of 'inner beauty' - the beauty found in the expression of virtues or wisdom in forms of bodily comportment. Inner beauty is a stable presence throughout Buddhist history, practices, and art.
The notion of beauty has endured a troublesome history over the last few decades. While for centuries beauty has been considered one of the central values of art, there have also been times when it seemed old-fashioned to even mention the term. The present volume aims to explore the nature of beauty and to shed light its place in contemporary philosphy and art practice.
Examines the birth of art-as-beauty in Western art and the concomitant birth of the idea of art itself. Also discusses the death of art-as-beauty from Manet onward and certain implications for aesthetics (the philosophy of art). Includes relevant reproductions. (The essay is a longer version of my paper "The Birth and Death of Beauty in Western Art" also listed on PhilPapers.).
This paper examines three accounts of the sleeping beauty case: an account proposed by Adam Elga, an account proposed by David Lewis, and a third account defended in this paper. It provides two reasons for preferring the third account. First, this account does a good job of capturing the temporal continuity of our beliefs, while the accounts favored by Elga and Lewis do not. Second, Elga’s and Lewis’ treatments of the sleeping beauty case lead to highly counterintuitive consequences. (...) The proposed account also leads to counterintuitive consequences, but they’re not as bad as those of Elga’s account, and no worse than those of Lewis’ account. (shrink)
Some versions of the doctrine of divine simplicity imply that God lacks really differentiated parts. I present a new argument against these views based on divine beauty. The argument proceeds as follows: God is beautiful. If God is beautiful, then this beauty arises from some structure. If God’s beauty arises from a structure, then God possesses really differentiated parts. If these premises are true, then divine simplicity is false. I argue for each of the argument’s premises and (...) defend it against objections, including an objection based on analogical predication, and an objection that supposes that God is simple while appearing complex. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty problem has attracted considerable attention in the literature as a paradigmatic example of how self-locating uncertainty creates problems for the Bayesian principles of Conditionalization and Reflection. Furthermore, it is also thought to raise serious issues for diachronic Dutch Book arguments. I show that, contrary to what is commonly accepted, it is possible to represent the Sleeping Beauty problem within a standard Bayesian framework. Once the problem is correctly represented, the ‘thirder’ solution satisfies standard rationality principles, (...) vindicating why it is not vulnerable to diachronic Dutch Book arguments. Moreover, the diachronic Dutch Books against the ‘halfer’ solutions fail to undermine the standard arguments for Conditionalization. The main upshot that emerges from my discussion is that the disagreement between different solutions does not challenge the applicability of Bayesian reasoning to centered settings, nor the commitment to Conditionalization, but is instead an instance of the familiar problem of choosing the priors. (shrink)
I defend the suggestion that the rational probability in the Sleeping Beauty paradox is one third. The reasoning in its favour is familiar: for every heads-waking, there are two tails-wakings. To complete the defense, I rebut the reasoning which purports to justify the competing suggestion – that the correct probability is half – by undermining its premise, that no new information has been received.
Statements such as “X is beautiful but I don’t like how it looks” or “I like how X looks but it is not beautiful” sound contradictory. How contradictory they sound might however depend on the object X and on the aesthetic adjective being used (“beautiful”, “elegant”, “dynamic”, etc.). In our study, the first sentence was estimated to be more contradictory than the latter: If we describe something as beautiful, we often intend to evaluate its appearance, whereas it is less counterintuitive (...) to appreciate an appearance without finding it beautiful. Furthermore, statements including “beautiful” appeared more contradictory than those including “elegant” and “dynamic”, pointing to its greater evaluative component. When related to artworks, sentences could appear less contradictory due to readers’ consideration of the divergence between conventional beauty and art-related sensory pleasures that can even include negative valence. Such ambivalence might be more frequent in art-objects than in other artefacts. Indeed, in our study, sentences referring to artworks were estimated to be less contradictory compared to sentences referring to other artefacts. Meanwhile, an additional small group of graphic design students showed a less clear difference between art-related and non-art-related sentences. We discuss the potential influence of art experience and interest as well as theoretical and methodological challenges like the conceptualization of beauty. (shrink)
This paper explores the beauty of religious exemplars Ð those special persons whose conduct and comportment marks their life out as one that exemplifies a religious life. Such exemplars are consistently described as beautiful, but it is not clear how or why. I suggest that we can make sense of the aesthetically aspect of religious exemplarity by adopting a Ôvirtue-centricÕ theory of beauty that understands the beautiful in terms of the expression or manifestation of virtues. Religious exemplars are (...) those who have cultivated their virtues to an advanced degree and are beautiful for that reason. Attending to the beauty of religious exemplars can enrich exemplarist virtue theory, the aesthetics of character, and our understanding of the nature of a religious life. (shrink)
The best arguments for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem all require that when Beauty awakes on Monday she should be uncertain what day it is. I argue that this claim should be rejected, thereby clearing the way to accept the 1/2 solution.
Adam Elga takes the Sleeping Beauty example to provide a counter-example to Reflection, since on Sunday Beauty assigns probability 1/2 to H, and she is certain that on Monday she will assign probability 1/3. I will show that there is a natural way for Bas van Fraassen to defend Reflection in the case of Sleeping Beauty, building on van Fraassen’s treatment of forgetting. This will allow me to identify a lacuna in Elga’s argument for 1/3. I will (...) then argue, however, that not all is well with Reflection: there is a problem with van Fraassen’s treatment of forgetting. Ultimately I will agree with Elga’s 1/3 answer. David Lewis maintains that the answer is 1/2; I will argue that cases of forgetting can be used to show that the premiss of Lewis’s argument for 1/2 is false. (shrink)
This paper attacks an account of Kant's controversial distinction between "free" and "dependent" beauty. I present three problems—The Lorland problem, The Crawford Problem, and the problem of intrinsic relation—that are shown to be a consequence of various interpretations of Kant's distinction. Next, I reconstruct Robert Wicks' well-known account of dependent beauty as "the appreciation of teleological style" and point out a key equivocation in the statement of Wicks' account: the judgment of dependent beauty can be thought to (...) consist in comparing any two objects' teleological styles either in respect of how or in respect of how well each realizes a common purpose. I argue that this equivocation forces Wicks into a dilemma: either he must assert the impossibility of ugliness or he must assert that the judgment of dependent beauty is reducible to the judgment of perfection. Either way, he denies important theoretic desiderata. (shrink)
Hitchcock advances a diachronic Dutch Book argument (DDB) for a 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. Bradley and Leitgeb argue that Hitchcock’s DDB argument fails. We demonstrate the following: (a) Bradley and Leitgeb’s criticism of Hitchcock is unconvincing; (b) nonetheless, there are serious reasons to worry about the success of Hitchcock’s argument; (c) however, it is possible to construct a new DDB for 1/3 about which such worries cannot be raised.
The strong law of large numbers and considerations concerning additional information strongly suggest that Beauty upon awakening has probability 1/3 to be in a heads-awakening but should still believe the probability that the coin landed heads in the Sunday toss to be 1/2. The problem is that she is in a heads-awakening if and only if the coin landed heads. So, how can she rationally assign different probabilities or credences to propositions she knows imply each other? This is the (...) problem I address in this article. I suggest that ‘p whenever q and vice versa’ may be consistent with p and q having different probabilities if one of them refers to a sample space containing ordinary possible worlds and the other to a sample space containing centred possible worlds, because such spaces may fail to combine into one composite probability space and, as a consequence, ‘whenever’ may not be well defined; such is the main contribution of this article. 1The Sleeping Beauty Game2Groisman’s and Peter Lewis’s Approaches3Discussing Beauty’s Credences4The Principle of Equivalence's Failure5Making Sense of the Principle of Equivalence's Failure6Elga’s and Lewis’s Approaches7ConclusionAppendix. (shrink)
Instances of natural beauty are widely regarded as counterexamples to practice-based theories of aesthetic value. They are not. To see that they are not, we require the correct account of natural beauty and the correct account of social practices.
Contemporary philosophical attitudes toward beauty are hard to reconcile with its importance in the history of philosophy. Philosophers used to allow it a starring role in their theories of autonomy, morality, or the good life. But today, if beauty is discussed at all, it is often explicitly denied any such importance. This is due, in part, to the thought that beauty is the object of “disinterested pleasure”. In this paper I clarify the notion of disinterest and develop (...) two general strategies for resisting the emphasis on it, in the hopes of getting a clearer view of beauty’s significance. I present and discuss several literary depictions of the encounter with beauty that motivate both strategies. These depictions illustrate the ways in which aesthetic experience can be personally transformative. I argue that they present difficulties for disinterest theories and suggest we abandon the concept of disinterest to focus instead on the special kind of interest beauty fuels. I propose a closer look at the Platonic thought that beauty is the object of love. (shrink)
One question that leads us into aesthetics is: why does beauty matter? Or, what do aesthetic goods bring to my life, to make it a life that goes well? Or, how does beauty deserve the place we have evidently made for it in our lives? A theory of aesthetic value states what beauty is so as to equip us to answer this question. According to aesthetic hedonism, aesthetic values are properties of items that stand in constitutive relation (...) to pleasure. Contemporary versions of aesthetic hedonism don’t explain what makes aesthetic values aesthetic, but they do explain what makes them normative, stating what makes it the case that aesthetic value facts lend weight to what an agent should do, for the fact that acting yields pleasure is always a reason to act. This book introduces and defends an alternative to aesthetic hedonism. According to the network theory, aesthetic value facts lend weight to its being an achievement for an agent to act. Since agents achieve by acting in coordination with one another, the theory takes seriously the sociality of aesthetic activity. The main argument for the network theory is that it better explains six facts about aesthetic activity than does aesthetic hedonism. The book also discusses the relationship between aesthetic value and pleasure, the point and distinctive character of aesthetic discourse, and the metaphysics of aesthetic value. Two final chapters use the network theory to shed light on how aesthetic value matters to us as individuals and as members of collectives. (shrink)
Next SectionAn attempt to resolve the controversy regarding the solution of the Sleeping Beauty Problem in the framework of the Many-Worlds Interpretation led to a new controversy regarding the Quantum Sleeping Beauty Problem. We apply the concept of a measure of existence of a world and reach the solution known as ‘thirder’ solution which differs from Peter Lewis’s ‘halfer’ assertion. We argue that this method provides a simple and powerful tool for analysing rational decision theory problems.
In this paper, I propose a solution to a notorious puzzle that lies at the heart of Kant’s Critique of Judgment. The puzzle arises because Kant asserts two apparently conflicting claims: (1) F→J: A judgment of beauty is aesthetic, i.e., grounded in feeling. (2) J→F: A judgment of beauty could not be based on and must ground the feeling of pleasure in the beautiful. I argue that (1) and (2) are consistent. Kant’s text indicates that he distinguishes two (...) feelings: the feeling of the harmony of the cognitive faculties that is the ground of judgments of beauty (F1 → J), and the feeling of pleasure that is its consequence (J → F2). I develop and defend a view of Kant’s account of the structure of judgments of beauty that incorporates this crucial distinction. Next, I argue that my view resolves another long-standing problem for Kant’s “Deduction” of judgments of beauty: it allows him to claim that the harmony of the faculties is a condition of judgment in general without implying, absurdly, that all judgments are pleasurable. (shrink)
The Pythagorean tradition dominates the understanding of beauty up until the end of the 18th Century. According to this tradition, the experience of beauty is stimulated by certain relations perceived to be between an object/construct's elements. As such, the object of the experience of beauty is indeterminate: it has neither a determinate perceptual analogue (one cannot simply identify beauty as you can a straight line or a particular shape) nor a determinate concept (there are no necessary (...) and sufficient conditions for beauty at the semantic level). By the 13th Century in the West, the pleasure experienced in beauty is characterized as disinterested. Yet, on the basis that all cultural manifestations of the pythagorean theory of beauty recognize that judgments of beauty are genuine judgments, we would want to say that judgments of beauty are lawful. In addition, from ancient times, up until after Kant, philosophers of beauty within this tradition recognize two kinds of beauty: a universal, unchanging beauty coexisting with a relative, dynamic beauty. These two kinds of beauty and the tensions discussed above, are reconciled and dissolved respectively, according to the metaphysical/religious commitments of the particular author. As yet, however, these features of beauty have not been reconciled within a physicalist worldview. This is what I set out to do. (shrink)
Whether truth, morality, and beauty have an objective basis has been a perennial question for philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics, while for a great many relativists and skeptics it poses a problem without a solution. In this essay, the author proposes an innovative approach that shows how cognitive intelligence, moral intelligence, and aesthetic intelligence provide the basis needed for objective judgments about truth, morality, and beauty.
In “Judy Benjamin is a Sleeping Beauty” (2010) Bovens recognises a certain similarity between the Sleeping Beauty (SB) and the Judy Benjamin (JB). But he does not recognise the dissimilarity between underlying protocols (as spelled out in Shafer (1985). Protocols are expressed in conditional probability tables that spell out the probability of coming to learn various propositions conditional on the actual state of the world. The principle of total evidence requires that we not update on the content of (...) the proposition learned but rather on the fact that we learn the proposition in question. Now attention to protocols drives a wedge between the SB and the JB. We have shown that the solution to a close variant of the SB which involves a clear protocol is P*(Heads) = 1/3 and since Beauty’s has precisely the same information at her disposal in the original SB at the time that she is asked to state her credence for Heads, the same solution should hold. The solution to the JB, on the other hand, is dependent on Judy’s probability distribution over protocols. One reasonable protocol yields P(Red) = 1/2, but Judy could also defend alternative values or a range of values in the interval [1/3, 1/2] depending on her probability distribution over protocols. (shrink)
In this paper, I ask whether there is a defensible philosophical view according to which everybody is beautiful. I review two purely aesthetical versions of this claim. The No Standards View claims that everybody is maximally and equally beautiful. The Multiple Standards View encourages us to widen our standards of beauty. I argue that both approaches are problematic. The former fails to be aspirational and empowering, while the latter fails to be sufficiently inclusive. I conclude by presenting a hybrid (...) ethical–aesthetical view according to which everybody is beautiful in the sense that everybody can be perceived through a loving gaze. I show that this view is inclusive, aspirational and empowering, and authentically aesthetical. (shrink)
Since the publication of Elga's seminal paper in 2000, the Sleeping Beauty paradox has been the source of much discussion, particularly in this journal. Over the past few decades the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics 1 has also been much debated. There is an interesting connection between the way these two topics raise issues about subjective probability assignments.This connection is often alluded to, but as far as we know Peter J. Lewis's ‘Quantum Sleeping Beauty’ is the first attempt (...) to examine it explicitly. Lewis claims that the two debates are not independent: to be specific, he argues that accepting the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics requires you to be a ‘halfer’ about Sleeping Beauty, in opposition to the more widely accepted ‘thirder’ solution.This paper will argue that Lewis is wrong. Everettians do not have to be halfers. It is perfectly cogent to be both an Everettian and a thirder. (shrink)
In a very influential paper Rota stresses the relevance of mathematical beauty to mathematical research, and claims that a piece of mathematics is beautiful when it is enlightening. He stops short, however, of explaining what he means by ‘enlightening’. This paper proposes an alternative approach, according to which a mathematical demonstration or theorem is beautiful when it provides understanding. Mathematical beauty thus considered can have a role in mathematical discovery because it can guide the mathematician in selecting which (...) hypothesis to consider and which to disregard. Thus aesthetic factors can have an epistemic role qua aesthetic factors in mathematical research. (shrink)
There is a tendency in contemporary (analytic) aesthetics to consider- ably restrict the scope of things that can be beautiful or ugly. This peculiarly modern tendency is holding back progress in aesthetics and robbing it of its potential contribution to other domains of inquiry. One view that has suffered neglect as a result of this tendency is the moral beauty view, whereby the moral virtues are beautiful and the moral vices are ugly. This neglect stems from an assumption to (...) the effect that virtues and vices simply cannot be beautiful or ugly. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it develops an account of form, under which, it argues, possession of form suffices for an object’s candidature for beauty and ugliness. Second, it argues that, under the foregoing proposal, the moral beauty view turns out to be a coherent position, and so should be taken seriously in both aesthetics and ethics. (shrink)
With the notable exception of David Lewis, most of those writing on the Sleeping Beauty problem have argued that 1/3 is the correct answer. Terence Horgan has provided the clearest account of why, contrary to Lewis, Beauty has evidence against the proposition that the coin comes up heads when she awakens on Monday. In this paper, I argue that Horgan’s proposal fails because it neglects important facts about epistemic probability.
ABSTRACTAlthough formative of modern value theory, the moral beauty view—which states that moral virtue is beautiful and moral vice is ugly—is now mostly neglected by philosophers. The two contemporary defences of the view mostly capitalize on its intuitive attractiveness, but to little avail: such considerations hardly convince sceptics of what is nowadays a rather unpopular view. Historically, the view was supported by thought experiments; and although these greatly increase its plausibility, they also raise empirical questions, which they leave unanswered. (...) Here, I offer a novel defence of the moral beauty view, capitalizing on empirical evidence and arguing via an inference to the best explanation. (shrink)
This is an 18,500 word bibliography of philosophical scholarship on Beauty which was published online in the Oxford Bibliographies Online. The entry includes an Introduction of 800 words, 21 x 400-word sub-themes and 168 annotated references. INTRODUCTION Philosophical interest in beauty began with the earliest recorded philosophers. Beauty was deemed to be an essential ingredient in a good life and so what it was, where it was to be found and how it was to be included in (...) a life were prime considerations. The way beauty has been conceived has been influenced by an author’s other philosophical commitments, metaphysical, epistemological and ethical and such commitments reflect the historical and cultural position of the author. For example, beauty is a manifestation of the divine on earth to which we respond with love and adoration; beauty is a harmony of the soul which we achieve through cultivating feeling in a rational and tempered way; beauty is an idea raised in us by certain objective features of the world; beauty is a sentiment which can nonetheless be cultivated to be appropriate to its object; beauty is the object of a judgment by which we exercise the social, comparative and inter-subjective elements of cognition and so on. Such views on beauty not only reveal underlying philosophical commitments but also reflect positive contributions to understanding the nature of value and the relation of mind and world. One way to distinguish between beauty theories is according to the conception of the human being that they assume or imply, for example, where they fall on the continuum from determinism to free will, ungrounded notions of compatibilism notwithstanding. For example, theories at the latter end might carve out a sense of genuine innovation and creativity in human endeavours while at the other end of the spectrum authors may conceive of beauty as an environmental trigger for consumption, procreation or preservation in the interests of the individual. Treating beauty experiences as in some respect intentional, characterises beauty theory prior to the twentieth century and since, mainly in historically inspired writing on beauty. On the other hand, treating beauty as affect or sensation has always had its representatives and is most visible today in evolutionary inspired accounts of beauty (though not all evolutionary accounts fit this classification). Beauty theory falls under some combination of metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics, aesthetics and psychology. While in the twentieth century beauty was more likely to be conceived as an evaluative concept for art, recent philosophical interest in beauty can again be seen to exercise arguments pertaining to metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics, philosophy of meaning and language in addition to philosophy of art and environmental aesthetics. (shrink)
This paper comments on an article by V.S. Ramachandran and William Hirstein (JCS,1999) in which they purport to be identifying the neurological principles of beauty. I draw attention to the way the problem of beauty is construed in the philosophical literature by Mary Mothersill (1984) and Immanuel Kant (Critique of Judgment). I argue that Ramachandran and Hirsteins' principles do not address the problem of beauty because they do not differentiate between the experience of beauty and other (...) closely related phenomena. I then show how one might address the problem of beauty within the framework that they have adopted. (shrink)
In his 2007 paper “Quantum Sleeping Beauty”, Peter Lewis poses a problem for the supporters’ of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics appeal to subjective probability. Lewis’s argument hinges on parallels between the traditional “sleeping beauty” problem in epistemology and a quantum variant. These two cases, Lewis argues, advocate different treatments of credences even though they share important epistemic similarities, leading to a tension between the traditional solution to the sleeping beauty problem (typically called the “thirder” solution) (...) and Everettian quantum mechanics. In this paper I examine the metaphysical and epistemological differences between Lewis’s two cases, and, in particular, I show how diachronic Dutch book arguments support both the thirder solution in the traditional case and the Everettian’s solution in the variant case. These Dutch books, I argue, reveal an important disanalogy between Lewis’s two cases such that Lewis’s argument does not reveal an inconsistency in either the Everettian’s or the thirder’s assignment of credences. (shrink)
This article addresses the phenomenology of aesthetic experience. It first, critically, considers one of the most influential approaches to the psychophysics of aesthetic perception, viz. neuroaesthetics. Hereafter, it outlines constitutive tenets of aesthetic perception in terms of a particular intentional relation to the object. The argument comes in three steps. First, I show the inadequacies of the neuroaesthetics of beauty in general and Semir Zeki’s and V.J. Ramachandran’s versions of it in particular. The neuroaesthetics of beauty falls short, (...) because it develops hypotheses of aesthetic experience which have no consequences for the understanding of what art is, that is, how artists produce visual meaning effects in their works. This is so because they make the rewarding feeling of beauty the cornerstone of aesthetic experience. Next, I show why and how aesthetic experience should be defined relative to its object and the tools for meaning-making specific to that object, and not relative to the feeling (of beauty) it may elicit. Finally, I sketch the import this fact may have on a research program in empirical aesthetics. (shrink)
In Perceiving God, William Alston briefly suggests the possibility of perceiving God indirectly through the perception of another object. Following recent work by C. Stephen Evans, we argue that Thomas Reid’s notion of “natural signs” helpfully illuminates how people can perceive God indirectly through natural beauty. First, we explain how some natural signs enable what Alston labels “indirect perception.” Second, we explore how certain emotions make it possible to see both beauty and the excellence of the minds behind (...)beauty. Finally, we explain how aesthetic emotions can involve indirect perception of God via the natural sign of natural beauty. (shrink)
Examines (1) the birth of art-as-beauty in Western art and the concomitant birth of the idea of art itself; (2) the death of art-of-beauty from Manet onwards. Also looks briefly at some major implications for aesthetics (the philosophy of art). Paper includes some relevant reproductions.
Benoit B. Mandelbrot, when discussing the global appeal of fractal patterns and designs, draws upon examples from across numerous world cultures. What may be missed in Mandelbrot's presentation is Immanuel Kant’s precedence in recognizing this sort of widespread beauty in art and nature, fractals avant la lettre. More importantly, the idea of the fractal may itself assist the aesthetic attitude which Kantian beauty requires. In addition, from a Kantian perspective, fractal patterns may offer a source for a sense (...) of community with humanity. I close with an excursus on the more sombre note of Kantian sublimity which fractals can also present. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to use the insights of objective probability theory to solve the Sleeping Beauty problem. The approach is to develop a partial theory of direct inference and then apply that partial theory to the problem. One of the crucial components of the partial theory is the thesis that expected indefinite probabilities provide a reliable basis for direct inference. The article relies heavily on recent work by Paul D. Thorn to defend that thesis. The article’s primary (...) conclusion is that Beauty can by way of a justifiable direct inference from a statement of expected indefinite probability reach the conclusion that the epistemic probability that the relevant coin toss lands heads is 1/3. The article also provides an account of why the self-locating information that Beauty acquires on Monday is evidentially relevant to the question of whether the coin toss lands heads or tails. (shrink)
The point of this symposium is to locate one trajectory of the new wave of discussions about beauty beyond the customary confines of analytic aesthetics and to situate it at the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, social-political philosophy, and cultural criticism. Three essays follow this introduction authored by Marica Muelder Eaton, Paul C. Taylor, and Susan Bordo. They represent a conjoined effort to move 'beauty' beyond the traditional parameters of past contextual theories of art. This introductory essay offers some (...) guidance as to why a symposium on beauty merits attention in 1999. (shrink)
This paper explores the neglected ‘harms-to-others’ which result from increased attention to beauty, increased engagement in beauty practices and rising minimal beauty standards. In the first half of the paper I consider the dominant discourse of beauty harms – that of ethics and policy – and argue that this discourse has over-focused on the agency of, and possible harms to, recipients of beauty practices. I introduce the feminist discourse which recognises a general harm to all (...) women and points towards an alternative understanding; although it too focuses on engaging individuals. I argue over-focusing on harms to engaging individuals is somewhat surprising especially in liberal contexts, as this harm can broadly be regarded as ‘self-harm’ (done by individuals to themselves, or by others employed by individuals to do so). The focus on engaging individuals has resulted in the neglect of significant and pressing harms-to-others in theory, policy and practice. In the second half of the paper I turn to actual and emerging harms-to-others. I focus on three particular harms-to-others as examples of the breadth and depth of beauty harms: first, direct harm to providers; second, indirect but specific harm to those who are ‘abnormal’; and third, indirect and general harm to all. I conclude that, contrary to current discourses, harms-to-others need to be taken into account to avoid biased and partial theorising and counter-productive policy-making. I advocate recasting beauty, in a parallel way to smoking, as a matter of public health rather than individual choice. (shrink)
The traditional solutions to the Sleeping Beauty problem say that Beauty should have either a sharp 1/3 or sharp 1/2 credence that the coin flip was heads when she wakes. But Beauty’s evidence is incomplete so that it doesn’t warrant a precise credence, I claim. Instead, Beauty ought to have a properly imprecise credence when she wakes. In particular, her representor ought to assign \(R(H\!eads)=[0,1/2]\) . I show, perhaps surprisingly, that this solution can account for the (...) many of the intuitions that motivate the traditional solutions. I also offer a new objection to Elga’s restricted version of the principle of indifference, which an opponent may try to use to collapse the imprecision. (shrink)
This book is a compilation of papers that Zangwill has had published previously in a number of journals; this journal among them. The topics of these papers centre on the nature of aesthetic properties. Read as such, the papers are, for the most part, erudite and illuminating, presenting as they do a very clear synthesis of various well known positions on the relation of aesthetic properties to non-aesthetic properties; the relation of beauty to other aesthetic concepts; and the nature (...) of the aesthetic. (shrink)
Terence Horgan defends the thirder position on the Sleeping Beauty problem, claiming that Beauty can, upon awakening during the experiment, engage in “synchronic Bayesian updating” on her knowledge that she is awake now in order to justify a 1/3 credence in heads. In a previous paper, I objected that epistemic probabilities are equivalent to rational degrees of belief given a possible epistemic situation and so the probability of Beauty’s indexical knowledge that she is awake now is necessarily (...) 1, precluding such updating. In response, Horgan maintains that the probability claims in his argument are to be taken, not as claims about possible rational degrees of belief, but rather as claims about “quantitative degrees of evidential support.” This paper argues that the most plausible account of quantitative degree of support, when conjoined with any of the three major accounts of indexical thought in such a way as to plausibly constrain rational credence, contradicts essential elements of Horgan’s argument. (shrink)
This survey chapter focuses on two questions concerning the nature of beauty. First, can “beauty” be defined, and if so, how? Second, what is the relation between beauty and the mind; for example, between being beautiful and being judged beautiful, or between being beautiful and being the object of pleasure?
Once we have distinguished between beauty and aesthetic value, we are faced with the question of whether beauty is a thing of value in itself. A number of theorists have suggested that the answer might be no. They have thought that the pursuit of beauty is just the indulgence of one particular taste: a taste that has, for contingent historical reasons, been privileged. This paper attempts to resist a line of thought that leads to that conclusion. It (...) does so by arguing that there really are objective facts about beauty. To do this, the paper draws distinctions between objectivity and subjectivity, and between realism and anti-realism. It argues that, regarding attributions of beauty, we should be realists and objectivists. This is shown to be compatible with taking the semantic content of such attributions to vary between contexts. This form of context sensitivity is able to account of those features of beauty-attributions that have been taken as evidence for its subjectivity. (shrink)
Under semantic monism I understand the thesis “The Good is said in one way” and under semantic pluralism the antithesis “The Good is said in many ways”. Plato’s Socrates seems to defend a “semantic monism”. As only one sun exists, so the “Good” has for Socrates and Plato only one reference. Nevertheless, Socrates defends in the Philebus a semantic pluralism, more exactly trialism, of “beauty, symmetry and truth” . Therefore, metaphorically speaking, there seem to exist not only one sun, (...) but three suns. If the platonic Socrates defends a semantic monism on the one hand and pluralism on the other, how can we unite his pluralism with his monism? My thesis is that the three references are “qualities” of the one single reference, or again, speaking metaphorically, “side suns” of the single sun. In the following, I propose first an exegesis of Plato’s last written word on the Good in Phil. 65 A 1-5 by dividing it into five sentences. Second, I ask a philosophical question on this monism and the corresponding hierarchy of values. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty problem is presented in a formalized framework which summarizes the underlying probability structure. The two rival solutions proposed by Elga and Lewis differ by a single parameter concerning her prior probability. They can be supported by considering, respectively, that Sleeping Beauty is “fuzzy-minded” and “blank-minded”, the first interpretation being more natural than the second. The traditional absent -minded driver problem is reinterpreted in this framework and sustains Elga’s solution.
Kant often seems to suggest that a cognition – whether an everyday cognition or a scientific cognition – cannot be beautiful. In the Critique of Judgment and the Lectures on Logic, he writes: ‘a science which, as such, is supposed to be beautiful, is absurd.’ (CJ 184 (5:305)) ‘The expression "beautiful cognition" is not fitting at all’ (LL 446 (24:708)). These claims are usually understood rather straightforwardly. On the one hand, cognition cannot be beautiful since on Kant’s account, it is (...) all about concepts whilst beauty is defined by its non-conceptual nature. On the other hand, beauty cannot contribute to cognition since the former is grounded on subjective feelings whilst cognition is all about objective knowledge. However, I will argue that Kant’s view of the relationship between cognition and beauty is not as straightforward as it may seem, and that both of these claims are in fact false. As I will show, cognition can be beautiful, and the feeling of beauty is cognitively valuable. Yet it is not because beauty is a sign of the truthfulness of a theory. Nor is it because the process that gives rise to the feeling of beauty, the free play, furthers scientific progress. Rather, it is because the experience of beauty stimulates our cognitive powers and thereby enhances our cognitive activity. On this basis, contrary to what is usually thought, cognition can, and in fact should, be beautiful for Kant. (shrink)
The concept of functional beauty is analysed in terms of the role played by beliefs, in particular expectations, in our perceptions. After finding various theories of functional beauty unsatisfying, I introduce a novel approach which explains how aesthetic judgements on a variety of different kinds of functional objects (chairs, buildings, cars, etc.) can be grounded in perceptions influenced by beliefs.