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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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 we address in this article. We 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 paper. (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.
Examines (1) the birth of the art-of-beauty in Western art and the concomitant birth of the idea of art itself; (2) the death of the art-of-beauty from Manet onwards. Also looks briefly at some major implications for aesthetics (the philosophy of art). Paper includes some relevant reproductions.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
From the Renaissance onwards, the Western tradition singled out the term beauty for a unique and highly prestigious role. As Christian belief began its gradual decline, Renaissance art invented a rival transcendence in the form of an exalted world of nobility, harmony and beauty – the world exemplified by the works of painters such as Raphael, Titian and Poussin. Beauty in this sense quickly became the ruling ideal of Western art, subsequently underpinning the explanations of the nature (...) and function of art (the aesthetics) developed by Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume and Kant – explanations that continue to be influential among contemporary philosophers of art. Today, however, there are fundamental questions to be asked: Is beauty still the ruling ideal of art? If not, what becomes of traditional, post-Enlightenment aesthetics which continues to shape much modern thinking about art? (shrink)
Greek philosophical tradition, not only the Aristotelian one, is strongly associated with proportion (Eco, 1993: 90). This principle of symmetry is generalisable; forasmuch as it is used as a normative rule in figurative arts. Nonetheless, the proportion for Ancient Greeks does not only describe a mathematical relation, but also represents a metaphysical principle. Thus, beauty is the measurement of the elements of the external form (in the case of tragedy, the meter, the symmetry of the parts, the number of (...) syllables, the number of verses) as well as the aesthetic harmony which the play transmits as total to the spectators (in the same case, the content must be neither superior nor inferior to the chosen form; otherwise the form would give the impression of grotesque or inadequate). (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.
In this essay, I explore how cognitive science could illuminate the concept of beauty. Two results from the extensive literature on aesthetics guide my discussion. As the term “beauty” is overextended in general usage, I choose as my starting point the notion of “perfect form.” Aesthetic theorists are in reasonable agreement about the criteria for perfect form. What do these criteria imply for mental representations that are experienced as beautiful? Complexity theory can be used to specify constraints on (...) mental representations abstractly formulated as vectors in a high-dimensional space. A central feature of the proposed model is that perfect form depends both on features of the objects or events perceived and on the nature of the encoding strategies or model of the observer. A simple example illustrates the proposed calculations. A number of interesting implications that arise as a consequence of reformulating beauty in this way are noted. (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)
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)
In the first part of this paper I argue that beauty and goodness are at least coextensive for Plato. That means that at least with respect to concrete particulars, everything that is good is beautiful and everything that is beautiful is good. Though the good and the beautiful are coextensive, there is evidence that they are not identical. In the second part of the paper I show significance of this relation. In ethics it implies that the good is the (...) right. It also allows one to see how platonists can believe that goodness exists in mathematics. And it explains the usefulness of mathematics in moral education. (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)
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 paper offers a semantic and pragmatic analysis of statements of the form ‘x is beautiful’ as involving a double speech act: first, a report that x is beautiful relative to the speaker’s aesthetic standard, along the lines of naive contextualism; second, the speaker’s recommendation that her audience comes to share her appraisal of x as beautiful. We suggest that attributions of beauty tend to convey such a recommendation due to the role that aesthetic practices play in fostering and (...) enhancing interpersonal coordination. Aesthetic practices are driven by a disposition towards the attunement of attitudes and aesthetic recommendations contribute to forwarding such attunement. Our view is motivated by an attempt to satisfy the following set of desiderata: to account for the experiential nature of aesthetic judgments, disagreements in aesthetic debates, and the normative aspirations of aesthetic discourse, as well as to avoid appealing to error theory and realist ontological commitments. (shrink)
In his recent article, “Beauty and Utility in Kant’s Aesthetics: The Origins of Adherent Beauty,” Robert Clewis aims to offer a fresh perspective on Kant’s views on the relation between beauty and utility. While, admittedly, a fresh approach is hard to come by, given the extensive treatment of the topic, Clewis thinks that a study of its historical context and origins might give us the needed edge. The most interesting and novel aspect of Clewis’s discussion is his (...) detailed treatment of Kant’s changing use of the term “selbstständig” (which in general means “independent,” “self-standing,” “stable,” “lasting,” “self-subsisting”). In the process of tackling the more general question as to what kind of eighteenth-century model of beauty-utility relation Kant proposes, Clewis addresses other issues, such as the seeming inconsistency between Kant’s earlier and later views on free and purpose-based beauty. As noted in the editor’s footnote of the Critique of the Power of Judgment (KU), while Kant uses the term “selbstständig,” in his precritical period to refer to “purpose-based beauty” (what he calls in the KU adherent or dependent beauty), he uses the same term to denote free beauty (independent beauty, that is to say) in the KU.1 Clewis argues that even though Kant uses the same term to refer to both dependent and independent beauty, albeit in different periods of his life, this switch in the application of the term is not caused by a change in the meaning of the term from Kant’s perspective, but a change in Kant’s views concerning the status of free beauty. I agree with Clewis that Kant did not change his mind about the meaning of the term “selbstständig.” Nevertheless, I disagree with the line Clewis pursues.I will argue that Clewis’s mistake lies in thinking that, throughout his career, Kant endorsed what he calls the “blocking-unifi cationist” view on the relation between beauty and utility (“beauty and perfection/utility are distinct concepts yet can be united or unifi ed” (2018, p. 309)). As I will show, this mistake results in an inconsistent story about Kant’s aesthetics as well as an inconsistency within Clewis’ own argument. I will try to articulate a more consistent story about the development of Kant’s ideas on aesthetics in general and his ideas on adherent beauty in particular by proposing that, contra Clewis, earlier Kant subscribed to what Clewis calls the “containment” account (beauty is a form of perfection) while the later Kant changed his mind (having given up on rationalism) and came to defend a version of “blocking-unificationist” view. (shrink)
In Beauty and Revolution in Science, James McAllister advances a rationalistic picture of science in which scientific progress is explained in terms of aesthetic evaluations of scientific theories. Here I present a new model of aesthetic evaluations by revising McAllister’s core idea of the aesthetic induction. I point out that the aesthetic induction suffers from anomalies and theoretical inconsistencies and propose a model free from such problems. The new model is based, on the one hand, on McAllister’s original model (...) and on further developments by Theo Kuipers in his “Beauty, a Road to the Truth?”. On the other hand, it is based on empirical findings about affection and emotion, and a naturalistic aesthetic theory. The new model is thus a naturalistic model with a wider explanatory range and much more internal consistency that McAllister’s. (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?
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.