Among semanticists and philosophers of language, there has been a recent outburst of interest in predicates such as delicious, called predicates of personal taste (PPTs, e.g. Lasersohn 2005). Somewhat surprisingly, the question of whether or how we can distinguish aesthetic predicates from PPTs has hardly been addressed at all in this recent work. It is precisely this question that we address. We investigate linguistic criteria that we argue can be used to delineate the class of specifically aesthetic adjectives. (...) We show that there are, in fact, good motivations for keeping PPTs and aesthetic predicates apart: the semantic structure of the former, but not the latter, entails an experiencer. There are many adjectives whose semantic structure arguably also entails an experiencer, yet which are readily used in expressing aesthetic judgments. Adjectives such as provocative or moving are a case in point, since as adjectives they arguably maintain the experiencer argument from the verb they are derived from. Nevertheless, when we describe, say, a sculpture as provocative, or a theater performance as moving, we clearly make aesthetic judgments. The difficult question, then, is to articulate the relationship between an aesthetic predicate (of which beautiful and ugly are paradigms) and other predicates that just happen to be used in making an aesthetic judgment. Tightly related to this point is the more general question of the relationship between an evaluative predicate and a predicate that occurs in an evaluative judgment. One of our aims is to make some progress in addressing these questions. (shrink)
My goal in this article is to provide support for the claim that moral flaws can be detrimental to an artwork's aesthetic value. I argue that moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws when they defeat the operation of good-making aesthetic properties. I do not defend a new theory of aesthetic properties or aesthetic value; instead, I attempt to show that on both the response-dependence and the supervenience account of aesthetic properties, moral flaws with an (...) artwork are relevant to what aesthetic properties obtain. I provide a description of the main features of both theories of aesthetic properties, and then explain how moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws on either account. I address several objections to moralism about art including the "moralistic fallacy.". (shrink)
The Acquaintance Principle is the principle according to which judgements concerning the aesthetic value of a work of art proffered by a critic must be based on the critic’s experience(s) or acquaintance with the work itself. The possible exception to this principle would be experiences obtained through other means of transmissibility, related in a particular way to the work in question, that can eventually provide the critic with an adequate basis for judging the artwork. However, recent philosophers claimed that (...) some works of conceptual art show the principle to be false. I argue that, if properly understood, the Acquaintance Principle is a truism, that works of conceptual art do not pose any particular problem to it, and also suggest some implications of the principle. (shrink)
A clear-cut concept of the aesthetic is elusive. Kant’s Critique of Judgment presents one of the more comprehensive aesthetic theories from which we can extract a set of features, some of which pertain to aesthetic experience and others to the logical structure of aesthetic judgment. When considered together, however, these features present a number of tensions and apparent contradictions. Kant’s own attempt to dissolve these apparent contradictions or dichotomies was not entirely satisfactory as it rested on (...) a vague notion of indeterminacy. He addressed the emerging tensions with his distinction between pure and dependent beauty, which is a distinction I believe a satisfactory theory of aesthetic judgment would reveal as unfounded. In addition, Kant left a crucial connection unaccounted for. This was the connection between the two aspects that he envisaged characterized an aesthetic judgment. The two aspects to which I refer are the “purposiveness of form” provided by the Imagination and the associated mental content,which Kant called “aesthetic ideas.” More recent aesthetic theories treat only a subset of the features addressed in Kant’s aesthetic theory. Even so, the standard aesthetic theories, such as expressivism, cognitivism, and formalism, entrench the kind of thinking that grounds these dichotomies. In contrast, I will demonstrate that a naturalized aesthetic theory can accommodate all the features suggested by the Kantian analysis in such a way that they are shown to be complementary rather than contradictory. (shrink)
One aim of this essay is to contribute to understanding aesthetic communication—the process by which agents aim to convey thoughts and transmit knowledge about aesthetic matters to others. Our focus will be on the use of aesthetic adjectives in aesthetic communication. Although theorists working on the semantics of adjectives have developed sophisticated theories about gradable adjectives, they have tended to avoid studying aesthetic adjectives—the class of adjectives that play a central role in expressing aesthetic (...) evaluations. And despite the wealth of attention paid to aesthetic adjectives by philosophical aestheticians, they have paid little attention to contemporary linguistic theories of adjectives. We take our work to be a first step in remedying these lacunae. In this paper, we present four experiments that examine one aspect of how aesthetic adjectives ordinarily function: the context-sensitivity of their application standards. Our results present a prima facie empirical challenge to a common distinction between relative and absolute gradable adjectives because aesthetic adjectives are found to behave differently from both. Our results thus also constitute a prima facie vindication of some philosophical aestheticians’ contention that aesthetic adjectives constitute a particularly interesting segment of natural language, even if the boundaries of this segment might turn out to be different from what they had in mind. (shrink)
This paper explores the possibility of developing a hybrid version of dispositional theories of aesthetic values. On such a theory, uses of aesthetic predicates express relational second-order dispositional properties. If the theory is not absolutist, it allows for the relativity of aesthetic values. But it may be objected to on the grounds that it fails to explain disagreement among subjects who are not disposed alike. This paper explores the possibility of adapting recent proposals of hybrid expressivist theories (...) for moral predicates to the case of aesthetic predicates. Hybrid expressivist theories make no explicit commitment about the kind of property expressed by the predicate, but make explicit commitments to implicated (or presupposed)expressive content. It is argued that dispositionalism about the properties expressed by aesthetic predicates, combined with expressive implicatures (or presuppositions), can account for aesthetic disagreements even in cases where subjects are not relevantly alike. (shrink)
Aesthetic perception is one of the most interesting topics for philosophers and scientists who investigate how it influences our interactions with objects and states of affairs. Over the last few years, several studies have attempted to determine “how aesthetics is represented in an object,” and how a specific feature of an object could evoke the respective feelings during perception. Despite the vast number of approaches and models, we believe that these explanations do not resolve the problem concerning the conditions (...) under which aesthetic perception occurs, and what constitutes the content of these perceptions. Adopting a naturalistic perspective, we here view aesthetic perception as a normative process that enables agents to enhance their interactions with physical and socio-cultural environments. Considering perception as an anticipatory and preparatory process of detection and evaluation of indications of potential interactions, we argue that the minimal content of aesthetic perception is an emotionally valued indication of interaction potentiality. Aesthetic perception allows an agent to normatively anticipate interaction potentialities, thus increasing sense making and reducing the uncertainty of interaction. This conception of aesthetic perception is compatible with contemporary evidence from neuroscience, experimental aesthetics, and interaction design. The proposed model overcomes several problems of transcendental, art-centered, and objective aesthetics as it offers an alternative to the idea of aesthetic objects that carry inherent values by explaining “the aesthetic” as emergent in perception within a context of uncertain interaction. (shrink)
Many aestheticians and ethicists are interested in the similarities and connections between aesthetics and ethics (Nussbaum 1990; Foot 2002; Gaut 2007). One way in which some have suggested the two domains are different is that in ethics there exist obligations while in aesthetics there do not (Hampshire 1954). However, Marcia Muelder Eaton has argued that there is good reason to think that aesthetic obligations do exist (Eaton 2008). We will explore the nature of these obligations by asking whether acts (...) of aesthetic supererogation (acts that go beyond the call of our aesthetic obligations) are possible. In this paper, we defend the thesis that there is good reason to think such acts exist. (shrink)
It is sometimes asked whether virtue ethics can be assimilated by Kantianism or utilitarianism, or if it is a distinct position. A look atAristotle’s ethics shows that it certanly can be distinct. In particular, Aristotle presents us with an ethics of aesthetics in contrast to themore standard ethics of cognition: A virtuous agent identifies the right actions by their aesthetic qualities. Moreover, the agent’s concernwith her own aesthetic character gives us a key to the important role the emotions (...) play for Aristotle, which further distinguishes him from the other two theories we have mentioned. (shrink)
Recent attention to the relationship between aesthetic value and cognitive value has focused on whether the latter can affect the former. In this article, I approach the issue from the opposite direction. I investigate whether the aesthetic value of a work can influence its cognitive value. More narrowly, I consider whether a work's aesthetic value ever contributes to or detracts from its philosophical value, which I take to include the truth of its claims, the strength of its (...) arguments, and its internal consistency. I argue that aesthetic value does have such an impact, at least sometimes and to some degree. The aesthetic merits of some works help to preserve their consistency, and the aesthetic defects of other works render them self-contradictory. (shrink)
This essay provides an overview of the ways in which contemporary philosophers have tried to make sense of ineffability as encountered in aesthetic contexts. Section 1 sets up the problem of aesthetic ineffability by putting it into historical perspective. Section 2 specifies the kinds of questions that may be raised with regard to aesthetic ineffability, as well as the kinds of answer each one of those questions would require. Section 3 investigates arguments that seek to locate (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic ineffability within the object of aesthetic experiences, i.e. within aesthetic content. Section 4 discusses arguments that seek to locate aesthetic ineffability within the subject of aesthetic experience. (shrink)
Both common sense and dominant traditions in art criticism and philosophical aesthetics have it that aesthetic features or properties are perceived. However, there is a cast of reasons to be sceptical of the thesis. This paper defends the thesis—that aesthetic properties are sometimes represented in perceptual experience—against one of those sceptical opponents. That opponent maintains that perception represents only low-level properties, and since all theorists agree that aesthetic properties are not low-level properties, perception does not represent (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic properties. I offer a novel argument—what I call the argument from seeing-as—against that sceptic which moves from consideration of ambiguous figures to consideration of visual art. It concludes that aesthetic properties are sometimes perceived and delivers a general lesson for philosophy of perception. Contrary to extant theories of rich perceptual content, aesthetic properties are far better candidates for high-level perceptual contents than standardly theorized rich contents like natural kinds. (shrink)
Methodologically, philosophical aesthetics is undergoing an evolution that takes it closer to the sciences. Taking this methodological convergence as the starting point, I argue for a pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. To bring concreteness to discussion, I focus on vindicating genre explanations, which are explanations of aesthetic phenomena that centrally cite a work's genre classification. I show that theoretical resources that philosophers of science have developed with attention to actual scientific practice and the special sciences can (...) be used to make room for genre explanations in aesthetics. In turn, making room for genre explanations also demonstrates the plausibility of the pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. (shrink)
Abstract Aesthetic autonomy has been given a variety of interpretations, which in many cases involve a number of claims. Key among them are: (i) art eludes conventional conceptual frameworks and their inherent incompatibility with invention and creativity; and (ii) art can communicate aspects of experience too fine?grained for discursive language. To accommodate such claims one can adopt either a convention?based account or a natural?kind account. A natural?kind theory can explain the first but requires some special scaffolding in order to (...) support the second, while a convention?based account accommodates the second but is incompatible with the first. Theodor W. Adorno attempts to incorporate both claims within his aesthetic theory, but arguably in his aesthetic theory each is cancelled out by the other. Art?s independence of entrenched conceptual frameworks needs to be made compatible with its communicative role. Jürgen Habermas, in contrast, provides a solution by way of his theory of language. I draw upon the art practice of the contemporary Icelandic?Danish artist Olafur Eliasson in order to demonstrate this. (shrink)
There is something peculiar about aesthetic testimony. It seems more difficult to gain knowledge of aesthetic properties based solely upon testimony than it is in the case of other types of property. In this paper, I argue that we can provide an adequate explanation at the level of the semantics of aesthetic language, without defending any substantive thesis in epistemology or about aesthetic value/judgement. If aesthetic predicates are given a non-invariantist semantics, we can explain the (...) supposed peculiar difficulty with aesthetic testimony. (shrink)
What makes a certain consideration an aesthetic reason rather than a reason of some other kind? Is it a solely a matter of the kind of attitude or activity that the reason supports? How fundamental or structural are such reasons? Do they contrast in a natural way with epistemic or practical reasons? Is skilled aesthetic achievement, whether interpretative or creative, a matter of recognizing the aesthetic reasons we have for a given response, and correctly according with such (...) reasons? In this paper, I offer a preliminary discussion of these topics. I argue that our account of aesthetic reasons should respect the fact that they play an important regulative role, over and above directly supporting aesthetic response. Such a role allows aesthetic reasons to moderate a wide range of practical and epistemic activities, but not by adding or substituting distinctively aesthetic ends or purposes for such activities. I then go on to argue against the view that skilled aesthetic achievement consists in correct recognition of and accord with aesthetic reasons, adapting a recent argument of Timothy Williamson’s. (shrink)
It is often suggested that aesthetic and ethical value judgements are similar in such a way that they should be analysed in analogous manners. In this paper, I argue that the two types of judgements share four important features concerning disagreement, motivation, categoricity, and argumentation. This, I maintain, helps to explain why many philosophers have thought that aesthetic and ethical value judgements can be analysed in accordance with the same dispositional scheme which corresponds to the analogy between secondary (...) qualities and values. However, I argue that aesthetic and ethical value judgements differ as regards their fundamental structures. This scheme is mistaken as regards ethical value judgements, but it is able to account for aesthetic value judgements. This implies that aesthetic value judgements are autonomous in relation to ethical value judements and that aestheticians, not moral philosophers, are the true heirs of this renowned analogy. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to give a new account of the way we exercise our attention in some paradigmatic cases of aesthetic experience. I treat aesthetic experience as a specific kind of experience and like in the case of other kinds of experiences, attention plays an important role in determining its phenomenal character. I argue that an important feature of at least some of our aesthetic experiences is that we exercise our attention in a specific, (...) distributed, manner: our attention is focused on one perceptual object, but it is distributed among the various properties of this object. I argue that this way of exercising one’s attention is very different from the way we attend most of the time and it fits very well with some important features of paradigmatic examples of aesthetic experience. (shrink)
In this chapter, I argue against empiricist positions which claim that empirical evidence can be sufficient to defeasibly justify aesthetic judgements, or judgements about the adequacy of aesthetic judgements, or sceptical judgements about someone's capacity to form adequate aesthetic judgements. First, empirical evidence provides neither inferential, nor non-inferential justification for aesthetic opinions. Second, while empirical evidence may tell us how we do respond aesthetically to artworks, it cannot tell us how we should respond to them. And, (...) third, empirical insights into the irrationality of many of our aesthetic judgements do not warrant the sceptical conclusion that we ought to refrain from forming aesthetic opinions. As a consequence of these limitations to aesthetic empiricism, we should endorse the rationalist position that aesthetic criticism is largely a matter of reasoning and, moreover, a collective undertaking. (shrink)
For the most part, the Aesthetic Theory of Art—any theory of art claiming that the aesthetic is a descriptively necessary feature of art—has been repudiated, especially in light of what are now considered traditional counterexamples. We argue that the Aesthetic Theory of Art can instead be far more plausibly recast by abandoning aesthetic-feature possession by the artwork for a claim about aesthetic-concept possession by the artist. This move productively re-frames and re-energizes the debate surrounding the (...) relationship between art and the aesthetic. That is, we claim Aesthetic Theory so re-framed suggests that the aesthetic might have a central and substantial explanatory role to play within both traditional philosophical enquiries as well as recent and more empirical enquiries into the psychological and cognitive aspects of art and its practice. Finally, we discuss the directions this new work might take—by tying art theory to investigations of the distinctive sensorimotor capacities of expert artists, their specialized aesthetic conceptual schemata, and the ways these distinctive capacities and schemata contribute to the production of artworks. (shrink)
One of the most discussed views in metaethics is Moral Internalism, according to which there is a conceptually necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation to act. Moral Internalism is regarded to yield the prime argument against Moral Cognitivism and for Moral Non-Cognitivism. In this paper, I investigate the significance of the corresponding claim in metaaesthetics. I pursue two lines of argument. First, I argue that Aesthetic Internalism – the view that there is a conceptually necessary connection between (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic value judgments and motivation to act – is mistaken. It follows, I maintain, that the most important argument against Aesthetic Cognitivism, and for Aesthetic Non-Cognitivism, is flawed, and that the latter view presumably is incorrect. Second, I argue that considerations with regard to Aesthetic Internalism give rise to two normative puzzles with relevance for the normative domain in general. The most plausible solution to these puzzles entails, I maintain, that we need to revise the established view about normative judgments. Moreover, I propose a novel externalist account of aesthetic value judgments. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 323 - 343 The following article attempts to bring critical realism to bear on the changing nature of aesthetic value. Beginning with the transitive-intransitive distinction, it is advised that we withhold judgment on the possibility of aesthetic judgment, lest we commit the epistemic fallacy. Without hoping to attain a form of aesthetic value absolutism, a strategy of ‘eliminative realism’ is introduced, which seeks to remove false causes of apparent judgmental relativism. (...) Then a rough sketch of the ontology of art works and art practices is made in order to provide sufficient complexity for the changing aspects of value from different points of view and assumptions. Finally, a case study is given, in the creation of a market of African slingshots in the 1908s, and the theory is tested. The article closes with a plea to take aesthetic value seriously, as a requirement of ideological discussion. (shrink)
I take up Kant's remarks about a " transcendental deduction" of the "concepts of space and time". I argue for the need to make a clearer assessment of the philosophical resources of the Aesthetic in order to account for this transcendental deduction. Special attention needs to be given to the fact that the central task of the Aesthetic is simply the "exposition" of these concepts. The Metaphysical Exposition reflects upon facts about our usage to reveal our commitment to (...) the idea that these concepts refer to pure intuitions. But the legitimacy of these concepts still hangs in the balance: these concepts may turn out to refer to nothing real at all. The subsequent Transcendental Exposition addresses this issue. The objective validity of the concepts of space and time, and hence their transcendental deduction, hinges on careful treatment of this last point. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Aesthetic disinterestedness is one of the central concepts in aesthetics, and Jerome Stolnitz, the most prominent theorist of disinterestedness in the 20th century, has claimed that (i) ancient thinkers engagement with this notion was cursory and undeveloped, and consequently, (ii) the emergence of disinterestedness in the 18th century marks the birth of aesthetics as a discipline. In this paper, I use the extant works of Epicurus to show that the ancient philosopher not only had similar concepts, but also (...) motivated them in careful and complex ways. I argue that, in the Epicurean theoretical framework, arts belong to the category of ‘merely natural’ desires, and this classification, combined with what we know of Epicurus’ rejection of art criticism, shows he had carefully worked out reasons supporting the idea that art ought to be approached terminally, rather than instrumentally. Finally, I compare the notion of aesthetic disinterestedness with Epicurus’ views on arts and argue that in many ways the latter are not inferior to the former, and therefore ought to belong to the history of aesthetics. (shrink)
Aesthetic judgments are often expressed by means of predicates that, unlike ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’, are not primarily aesthetic, or even evaluative, such as ‘intense’ and ‘harrowing’. This paper aims to explain how such adjectives can convey a value-judgment, and one, moreover, whose positive or negative valence depends on the context.
WHAT is art? Classificatory disputes.. Classificatory disputes about what is art SEE this link for the images embeded in the text!! https://ulrichdebalbian.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/classificatory-disputes-about-what-is-art/ -/- Art historians and philosophers of art have long had classificatory disputes about art regarding whether a particular cultural form or piece of work should be classified as art. Disputes about what does and does not count as art continue to occur today -/- Defining art is difficult if not impossible. Aestheticians and art philosophers often engage in disputes (...) about how to define art. By its original and broadest definition, art (from the Latin ars, meaning “skill” or “craft”) is the product or process of the effective application of a body of knowledge, most often using a set of skills; this meaning is preserved in such phrases as “liberal arts” and “martial arts”. However, in the modern use of the word, which rose to prominence after 1750, “art” is commonly understood to be skill used to produce an aesthetic result (Hatcher, 1999). (shrink)
In this article, I present two objections against the view that aesthetic judgements – that is, judgemental ascriptions of aesthetic qualities like elegance or harmony – are justified non‐inferentially. The first is that this view cannot make sense of our practice to support our aesthetic judgements by reference to lower‐level features of the objects concerned. The second objection maintains that non‐inferentialism about the justification of aesthetic judgements cannot explain why our aesthetic interest in artworks and (...) other objects is limited to only some of their lower‐level features that realise their higher‐level aesthetic qualities. Although my concern with the view that aesthetic judgements are subject to non‐inferential justification is very general, my discussion is primarily structured around Sibley's well‐developed and influential version of this view. (shrink)
In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant offers a theory of artistic expression in which he claims that a work of art is a medium through which an artist expresses an ‘aesthetic idea’. While Kant’s theory of aesthetic ideas often receives rather restrictive interpretations, according to which aesthetic ideas can either present only moral concepts, or only moral concepts and purely rational concepts, in this article I offer an ‘inclusive interpretation’ of aesthetic ideas, according (...) to which they can present not only moral and purely rational concepts but also empirical concepts and emotions related to our ordinary experience. Although this latter class of experience-oriented aesthetic ideas has been neglected, I argue that recognizing the role it plays in Kant’s account is crucial for understanding his views not only of artistic production and our experience of art but also of the value he takes art to have for our ordinary experience of the world, others, and our own selves. What is more, insofar as the inclusive interpretation brings to light Kant’s acknowledgement of the close connection between experience and art, it reveals that his overall view of art is more plausible than is often thought, and recommends it as worthy of further consideration. (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.
This chapter focuses on three questions concerning the aesthetic properties of music: What determines whether a musical piece has a certain aesthetic property? Is music capable of having emotional properties such as sadness? And are there aesthetic properties that music is incapable of having?
The claim that the having of aesthetic properties supervenes on the having of non-aesthetic properties has been widely discussed and, in various ways, defended. In this paper, I will show that even if it is sometimes true that a supervenience relation holds between aesthetic properties and the 'subvenient' non-aesthetic ones, it is not the interesting relation in the neighbourhood. As we shall see, a richer, asymmetric and irreflexive relation is required, and I shall defend the claim (...) that the more-and-more-popular relation of grounding does a much better job than supervenience. (shrink)
This is a response to invited and submitted commentary on "The Pleasure of Art," published in Australasian Philosophical Reviews 1, 1 (2017). In it, I expand on my view of aesthetic pleasure, particularly how the distinction between facilitating pleasure and relief pleasure works. In response to critics who discerned and were uncomfortable with the aesthetic hedonism that they found in the work, I develop that aspect of my view. My position is that the aesthetic value of a (...) work of art is its capacity to elicit from a suitably well-informed consumer a specific kind of pleasure. (shrink)
Empirical findings may be relevant for aesthetic evaluation in at least two ways. First — within criticism — they may help us to identify the aesthetic value of objects. Second— whithin philosophy — they may help us to decide which theory of aesthetic value and evaluation to prefer. In this paper, I address both kinds of relevance. My focus is thereby on empirical evidence gathered, not by means of first-personal experiences, but by means of third-personal scientific investigations (...) of individual artworks or, more generally, our interaction with art. The main thesis to be defended is that third-personal empirical findings are of limited significance for both critical and philosophical aesthetics. Indeed, they matter only to the extent to which they draw our attention to features or facts that we then iden- tify, from our first-personal perspective, as aesthetically relevant — for instance, as reasons counting for or against certain ascriptions of aesthetic value, or as factors that causally influence our actual as- sessments and thus render them partly inadequate or irrational. This limited significance of empirical findings is in line with the rationalist approach to the formation and justification of aesthetic judgements, that I have already started to defend elsewhere. -/- With respect to critical aesthetics, one problem is that empirical investigations cannot capture the normativity of the aesthetic relevance of lower-level features or facts: the respective studies can tell us what we take to be reason-giving or valuable, but not what is reason-giving or valuable. Furthermore, we cannot use empirically knowable principles to infer the presence of aesthetic values or reasons on the basis of recognising measurable lower-level features because the only available principles are too specific to allow for their actual application to more than one existing object, or even for their actual formulation. For their antecedents make reference to a large number of very determinate properties, as well as sometimes to particular events of creation. The only exception are conceptual principles (such as ‘something symmetrical is balanced’) or default principles (such as ‘something elegant is, by default, beautiful’). But knowledge of these principles is of little inferential use due to the holistic character of the justificatory power of aesthetic reasons and, moreover, does not allow for empirical acquisition. -/- With respect to philosophical aesthetics, I start with considering the limits of evolutionary accounts of aesthetic value. Even if it is true that humans originally came to value artworks because they recognised that artworks reveal certain skills or features of artists (such as imaginativeness or resourcefulness) that are desirable in sexual partners, it does not value that our reasons for valuing art have not changed, or at least not become much more complex. In addition, the answer to the question of why we value art from an evolutionary perspective has no obvious bearing on the issue of how we should appreciate art from an aesthetic perspective, or what such aesthetic appreciation would consist in. On the other hand, experimental studies showing that our actual aesthetic evaluations are influenced by factors (such as exposure e ects, or knowledge of the prices of objects), that undermine the good standing of our responses, just reveal that it is more difficult than perhaps expected to form sound aesthetic judgements; and that we need to improve our future aesthetic judgements by diminishing as much as possible the impact of those factors. (shrink)
The current debate over aesthetic testimony typically focuses on cases of doxastic repetition — where, when an agent, on receiving aesthetic testimony that p, acquires the belief that p without qualification. I suggest that we broaden the set of cases under consideration. I consider a number of cases of action from testimony, including reconsidering a disliked album based on testimony, and choosing an artistic educational institution from testimony. But this cannot simply be explained by supposing that testimony is (...) usable for action, but unusable for doxastic repetition. I consider a new asymmetry in the usability aesthetic testimony. Consider the following cases: we seem unwilling to accept somebody hanging a painting in their bedroom based merely on testimony, but entirely willing to accept hanging a painting in a museum based merely on testimony. The switch in intuitive acceptability seems to track, in some complicated way, the line between public life and private life. These new cases weigh against a number of standing theories of aesthetic testimony. I suggest that we look further afield, and that something like a sensibility theory, in the style of John McDowell and David Wiggins, will prove to be the best fit for our intuitions for the usability of aesthetic testimony. I propose the following explanation for the new asymmetry: we are willing to accept testimony about whether a work merits being found beautiful; but we are unwilling to accept testimony about whether something actually is beautiful. (shrink)
The paper argues that an important class of aesthetic terms cannot be used as metaphors because it is impossible to commit a category mistake with them. It then uses this fact to provide a general definition of 'aesthetic property'.
It is argued that the theory of situated cognition together with dynamic systems theory can explain the core of artistic practice and aesthetic experience, and furthermore paves the way for an account of how artist and audience can meet via the artist’s work. The production and consumption of art is an embodied practice, firmly based in perception and action, and supported by features of the local, agent-centered and global, socio-cultural contexts. Artistic creativity and aesthetic experience equally result from (...) the dynamic interplay between agent and context, allowing for artist and viewer to relate to the artist’s work in similar ways. (shrink)
Confucian ethics play a pivotal role in guiding Chinese thinking and behaviour. Aesthetic leadership is emerging as a promising paradigm in leadership studies. This study investigates the practice of aesthetic leadership in Chinese organizations on the basis of Chinese philosophical foundations. We adopt a process perspective to access the aesthetic constellation of meanings present in the Chinese understanding of leadership, linking normative Confucian values to a pragmatic value rational world view, that rests on an ontology of vaguely (...) defined norms that are malleable to different cultural contexts. Value rational pragmatism is explored in order to develop a deeper understanding of normative aesthetic leadership in China and to contrast it to instrumental aesthetic leadership. We empirically demonstrate the contextual specificity of aesthetic leadership in eight Chinese private- and state-owned enterprises (POEs and SOEs) through qualitative case studies. The findings provide a deeper insight into Chinese aesthetic leadership by proposing a dynamic leadership approach, from both ethical and instrumental perspectives, in the Chinese context. (shrink)
The medical humanities are often implemented in the undergraduate medicine curriculum through injection of discrete option courses as compensation for an overdose of science. The medical humanities may be reformulated as process and perspective, rather than content, where the curriculum is viewed as an aesthetic text and learning as aesthetic and ethical identity formation. This article suggests that a “humanities” perspective may be inherent to the life sciences required for study of medicine. The medical humanities emerge as a (...) revelation of value inherent to an aesthetic medicine taught and learned imaginatively. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that recent attempts at explaining aesthetic ineffability have been unsuccessful. Either they misrepresent what aesthetic ineffability consists in, or they leave important aspects of it unexplained. I then show how a more satisfying account might be developed, once a distinction is made between two kinds of awareness. -/- .
According to Hume, experience in observing art is one of the prerequisites for being an ideal art critic. But although Hume extols the value of observing art for the art critic, he says little about the value, for the art critic, of executing art. That is, he does not discuss whether ideal aesthetic judges should have practiced creating the form of art they are judging. In this paper, I address this issue. Contrary to some contemporary philosophers who claim that (...) experience in creating art is irrelevant to one’s ability to judge that art form, as well as to some dance critics who see dance training as possibly even detrimental to one’s aesthetic judgment, I suggest that having practiced dancing makes one a better observer of certain aesthetic qualities of dance. Dance training, I argue, can facilitate a kinesthetic experience upon watching dance without which some aesthetic aspects of a dance performance—such as grace, power, and precision, as perceived kinesthetically—may go unnoticed. (shrink)
Within the debate on the epistemology of aesthetic appreciation, it has a long tradition, and is still very common, to endorse the sentimentalist view that our aesthetic evaluations are rationally grounded on, or even constituted by, certain of our emotional responses to the objects concerned. Such a view faces, however, the serious challenge to satisfactorily deal with the seeming possibility of faultless disagreement among emotionally based and epistemically appropriate verdicts. I will argue that the sentimentalist approach to (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic epistemology cannot accept and accommodate this possibility without thereby undermining the assumed capacity of emotions to justify corresponding aesthetic evaluations – that is, without undermining the very sentimentalist idea at the core of its account. And I will also try to show that sentimentalists can hope to deny the possibility of faultless disagreement only by giving up the further view that aesthetic assessments are intersubjective – a view which is almost as traditional and widely held in aesthetics as sentimentalism, and which is indeed often enough combined with the latter. My ultimate conclusion is therefore that this popular combination of views should better be avoided: either sentimentalism or intersubjectivism has to make way. (shrink)
The problem of evil is not only a logical problem about God's goodness but also an existential problem about the sense of God's presence, which the Biblical book of Job conceives as a problem of aesthetic experience. Thus, just as theism can be grounded in religious experience, atheism can be grounded in experience of evil. This phenomenon is illustrated by two contrasting literary descriptions of aesthetic experience by Jean-Paul Sartre and Annie Dillard. I illuminate both of these literary (...) texts with a discussion of the 18th Century philosopher Lord Shaftesbury's concept of ‘enthusiasm’. (shrink)
An attitude which hopes to derive aesthetic pleasure from an object is often thought to be in tension with an attitude which hopes to derive knowledge from it. The current article argues that this alleged conflict only makes sense when the aesthetic attitude and knowledge are construed unnaturally narrowly, and that when both are correctly understood there is no tension between them. To do this, the article first proposes a broad and satisfying account of the aesthetic attitude, (...) and then considers and rejects twelve reasons for thinking that deriving knowledge from something is incompatible with maintaining an aesthetic attitude towards it. Two main conclusions are drawn. 1) That the representational arts are often in a good position to communicate non-propositional knowledge about human beings. 2) That while our desire to obtain pleasure from a work's manifest properties, and our desire to obtain knowledge from it, are not the same motive, the formal similarities between them are sufficiently impressive to warrant both being seen as elements of the aesthetic attitude. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationships between Goethe's morphology and his ideas on aesthetic appraisal. Goethe's science of morphology was to provide the method for making evident pure phenomena [Urphänomene], for making intuitable the necessary laws behind the perceptible forms and formation of living nature, through a disciplined perception. This emphasis contrasted with contemporary studies of generation, which focused upon hidden formative processes. It was his views on aesthetic appraisal that informed these epistemological precepts of his science. His study (...) of antique artefacts convinced Goethe that these should be prototypes for all art, since they made perceptible the ideal of art, its archetypes or objective forms. His ambition was to eliminate the subjective elements he contended were leading contemporary art astray. He argued that the techniques he developed for cultivating the perception of the ideal exemplars of art could become a model for science, enabling the intuition of the objective forms of nature through a similar disciplined and cultivated perception. This paper also examines some of the wider motivations for the particular emphases Goethe gave to his science and aesthetics, noting a similar impulse to discipline unruly forces in his life -- in his work as an administrator for the Weimar court and Jena University, in his vision of an ideal German culture centred on the aristocracy, and in his literary productions and biographical writings. Finally it discusses the extent to which those unruly elements nevertheless remained a potent and disturbing presence in his understanding of nature, his art and his life. (shrink)
It has been argued that some recent experimental findings about the mere exposure effect can be used to argue for aesthetic antirealism: the view that there is no fact of the matter about aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is to assess this argument and point out that this strategy, as it stands, does not work. But we may still be able to use experimental findings about the mere exposure effect in order to engage with the (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic realism/antirealism debate. However, this argument would need to proceed very differently and would only support a much more modest version of aesthetic antirealism. (shrink)
This article defends the content approach to aesthetic experience. It begins by sketching this approach to aesthetic experience. It then rehearses certain recent criticisms of the view by Alan Goldman and attempts to rebut them. One of those criticisms raises a long-standing concern about the author's account that has recently been called the “qua” problem. The article concludes by putting this issue to rest.
How should we pursue aesthetic value, or incorporate it into our lives, if we want to? Is there an ideal of aesthetic life? Philosophers have proposed numerous answers to the analogous question in moral philosophy, but the aesthetic question has received relatively little attention. There is, in essence, a single view, which is that one should develop a sensibility that would give one sweeping access to aesthetic value. I challenge this view on two grounds. First, it (...) threatens to undermine our "aesthetic love", or the meaningful attachments we form with aesthetic items, e.g., poems, paintings, songs, or items of design and dress. Second, it fails to accommodate the motivational character of our encounter with beauty, which can diminish our desire to pursue the wider world of aesthetic value. I conclude that whatever the aesthetic ideal is, it must reconcile our desire to broaden our access to aesthetic value with our desire to maintain and cultivate our meaningful aesthetic attachments. I motivate the alternative thought that having style is the aesthetic ideal. (shrink)
My paper sets out to compare neuroaesthetics and transcendental philosophy, concerning the perception of schemes of imitation in aesthetic experience. The argument is structured in four steps: first, I will introduce the function of schemes in mirror-neuron-based processes and in general in the embodiment theory of Mark Johnson and George Lakoff; second, I will consider some analogical relations between a transcendental approach and neuroaesthetics concerning semantics; third, starting with the statement that one open question in neuroaesthetics is how creativity (...) emerges, I would like to propose a transcendental account about sensible schemes as a possible foundation of creativity. I will conclude my paper with some examples from visual arts and aesthetic practices in general. (shrink)
In his book The Metaphysics of Beauty Nick Zangwill argues for the claim that aesthetic properties metaphysically necessarily depend on sensory properties. This claim plays a role in his argument against physicalist aesthetic realism as well as in the formulation of his own response- dependence view. In this article, I offer reasons to resist the aesthetic/ sensory dependence claim by a discussion of the case of theories, theorems, proofs, and similar theoretical objects, which do possess genuinely (...) class='Hi'>aesthetic properties, while these do not depend on any sensory properties. I argue against Zangwill’s claim that such attributions of aesthetic properties are merely metaphorical. (shrink)