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Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement

Mind 129 (516):1127-1156 (2019)

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  1. Aesthetic Hedonism and Its Critics.Servaas Van der Berg - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12645.
    This essay surveys the main objections to aesthetic hedonism, the view that aesthetic value is reducible to the value of aesthetic pleasure or experience. Hedonism is the dominant view of aesthetic value, but a spate of recent criticisms has drawn its accuracy into question. I introduce some distinctions crucial to the criticisms, before using the bulk of the essay to identify and review six major lines of argument that hedonism's critics have employed against it. Whether or not these arguments suffice (...)
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  • Counterfactual Reasoning in Art Criticism.Angela Sun - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (3):276-285.
    When we evaluate artworks, we often point to what an artist could have done or what a work could have been in order to say something about the work as it actually is. Call this counterfactual reasoning in art criticism. On my account, counterfactual claims about artworks involve comparative aesthetic judgments between actual artworks and hypothetical variations of those works. The practice of imagining what an artwork could have been is critically useful because it can help us understand how artworks (...)
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  • Speculative Aesthetic Expressivism.Neil Sinclair & Jon Robson - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    In this paper we sketch a new version of aesthetic expressivism. One advantage of this view is that it explains various putative norms on the formation and revision of aesthetic judgement. We argue that our sketch goes beyond extant versions of aesthetic expressivism (such as those discussed by Gibbard, Hopkins, Scruton, and Todd) by explaining these norms in terms of an account of the distinctive function, not just of individual aesthetic judgements or assertions, but of the wider aesthetic practice of (...)
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  • Phenomenal Experience and the Aesthetics of Agency.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):380-391.
    In his fascinating new book Games: Agency as Art, Nguyen endorses an experiential requirement on aesthetic judgment: apt aesthetic judgment requires phenomenal experience. His own aesthetics of agency captures three phenomenally manifest and aesthetically significant harmonies (and corresponding disharmonies). But his view can be significantly extended to capture much more of the rich texture of human agency. In this discussion, I argue that emotions of agency, patterns of attention, and affordances all can be phenomenally experienced as aspects of agency, and (...)
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  • Aesthetic Autonomy and Norms of Exposure.Samantha Matherne - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):686-711.
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  • Non-Standard Emotions and Aesthetic Understanding.Irene Martínez Marín - 2020 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 2 (57):135–49.
    For cognitivist accounts of aesthetic appreciation, appreciation requires an agent (1) to perceptually respond to the relevant aesthetic features of an object o on good evidential grounds, (2) to have an autonomous grasp of the reasons that make the claim about the aesthetic features of o true by pointing out the connection between non-aesthetic features and the aesthetic features of o, (3) to be able to provide an explanation of why those features contribute to the overall aesthetic value of o. (...)
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  • Inference as Consciousness of Necessity.Eric Marcus - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):304-322.
    Consider the following three claims. (i) There are no truths of the form ‘p and ~p’. (ii) No one holds a belief of the form ‘p and ~p’. (iii) No one holds any pairs of beliefs of the form {p, ~p}. Irad Kimhi has recently argued, in effect, that each of these claims holds and holds with metaphysical necessity. Furthermore, he maintains that they are ultimately not distinct claims at all, but the same claim formulated in different ways. I find (...)
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  • Two Concepts of Groove: Musical Nuances, Rhythm, and Genre.Evan Malone - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    Groove, as a musical quality, is an important part of jazz and pop music appreciative practices. Groove talk is widespread among musicians and audiences, and considerable importance is placed on generating and appreciating grooves in music. However, musicians, musicologists, and audiences use groove attributions in a variety of ways that do not track one consistent underlying concept. I argue that that there are at least two distinct concepts of groove. On one account, groove is ‘the feel of the music’ and, (...)
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  • Sculpted Agency and the Messiness of the Landscape.Quill Rebecca Kukla - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):296-306.
    In Games: Agency as Art, Thi Nguyen has given us a deep and compelling picture of agency as much more layered, volatile, environment-dependent and discontinuous than it appears in most philosophical accounts. Games ‘inscribe … forms of agency into artifactual vessels’.1 1 When we play a game, we take up a form of agency, including a set of motivations, values and goals, which has been artificially provided by the game. Our purpose in playing, in the kinds of gameplay that interest (...)
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  • Aesthetic Obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):1-13.
    Are there aesthetic obligations, and what would account for their binding force if so? I first develop a general, domain‐neutral notion of obligation, then critically discuss six arguments offered for and against the existence of aesthetic obligations. The most serious challenge is that all aesthetic obligations are ultimately grounded in moral norms, and I survey the prospects for this challenge alongside three non‐moral views about the source of aesthetic obligations: individual practical identity, social practices, and aesthetic value primitivism. I conclude (...)
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  • Aesthetic Practices and Normativity.Robbie Kubala - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):408-425.
    What should we do, aesthetically speaking, and why? Any adequate theory of aesthetic normativity must distinguish reasons internal and external to aesthetic practices. This structural distinction is necessary in order to reconcile our interest in aesthetic correctness with our interest in aesthetic value. I consider three case studies—score compliance in musical performance, the look of a mowed lawn, and literary interpretation—to show that facts about the correct actions to perform and the correct attitudes to have are explained by norms internal (...)
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  • Reasons, Normativity, and Value in Aesthetics.Alex King - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (1):1-17.
    Discussions of aesthetic reasons and normativity are becoming increasingly popular. This piece outlines six basic questions about aesthetic reasons, normativity, and value and discusses the space of possible answers to these questions. I divide the terrain into two groups of three questions each. First are questions about the shape of aesthetic reasons: what they favour, how strong they are, and where they come from. Second are relational questions about how aesthetic reasons fit into the wider normative landscape: whether they are (...)
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  • How Much Are Games Like Art?Thomas Hurka - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):287-296.
    This paper challenges Thi Nguyen's argument, in Games: Agency as Art, a central part of the value of game-play comes from the aesthetic experiences it allows, especially of our own agency, so playing a game is importantly like engaging with art. It challenges three arguments Nguyen makes in support of this view and argues, to the contrary, that the principal value in game-play rests in the achievments it allows.
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  • Aesthetic Testimony, Understanding and Virtue.Alison Hills - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):21-39.
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  • The Authority of Pleasure.Keren Gorodeisky - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):199-220.
    The aim of the paper is to reassess the prospects of a widely neglected affective conception of the aesthetic evaluation and appreciation of art. On the proposed picture, the aesthetic evaluation and appreciation of art are non-contingently constituted by a particular kind of pleasure. Artworks that are valuable qua artworks merit, deserve, and call for a certain pleasure, the same pleasure that reveals (or at least purports to reveal) them to be valuable in the way that they are, and constitutes (...)
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  • On Liking Aesthetic Value.Keren Gorodeisky - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):261-280.
    According to tradition, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to a certain feeling of liking or pleasure. Is that true? Two answers are on offer in the field of aesthetics today: 1. The Hedonist answers: Yes, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to pleasure insofar as this value is constituted and explained by the power of its possessors to please (under standard conditions). 2. The Non-Affectivist answers: No. At best, pleasure is contingently related to aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is (...)
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  • Aesthetic knowledge.Keren Gorodeisky & Eric Marcus - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2507-2535.
    What is the source of aesthetic knowledge? Empirical knowledge, it is generally held, bottoms out in perception. Such knowledge can be transmitted to others through testimony, preserved by memory, and amplified via inference. But perception is where the rubber hits the road. What about aesthetic knowledge? Does it too bottom out in perception? Most say “yes”. But this is wrong. When it comes to aesthetic knowledge, it is appreciation, not perception, where the rubber hits the road. The ultimate source of (...)
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  • Wondering on and with Purpose.Daniel Drucker - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 2:58-84.
    I make a proposal about what wondering is and how it differs from other mental phenomena like curiosity. I argue that, though it's tempting to analyze wondering as a desire to know the answer to the question one wonders about, that would be wrong, since wondering is an activity rather than a state, i.e., something we do. I also argue that wondering about a question needn't even essentially involve a desire to know the answer to that question, even as a (...)
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  • Trust and Sincerity in Art.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:21-53.
    Our life with art is suffused with trust. We don’t just trust one another’s aesthetic testimony; we trust one another’s aesthetic actions. Audiences trust artists to have made it worth their while; artists trust audiences to put in the effort. Without trust, audiences would have little reason to put in the effort to understand difficult and unfamiliar art. I offer a theory of aesthetic trust, which highlights the importance of trust in aesthetic sincerity. We trust in another’s aesthetic sincerity when (...)
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  • The Concept of the Aesthetic.James Shelley - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Introduced into the philosophical lexicon during the Eighteenth Century, the term ‘aesthetic’ has come to be used to designate, among other things, a kind of object, a kind of judgment, a kind of attitude, a kind of experience, and a kind of value. For the most part, aesthetic theories have divided over questions particular to one or another of these designations: whether artworks are necessarily aesthetic objects; how to square the allegedly perceptual basis of aesthetic judgments with the fact that (...)
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  • The 'I' of the Beholder: Toward a Character Theory of Aesthetic Engagement.Patrick Hayes - unknown
    Within the field of aesthetics, there are several approaches to answering what affects how and whether an individual engages with a particular art or aesthetic object. Two theories that attempt to come to a solution on this issue are theories of attunement and attachment which respectively argue that one’s engagement is primarily affected by one’s attunement or attachment, through a system of values, beliefs, and associations, to an object. While these theories are successful in responding to a variety of cases, (...)
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  • Should We Feel Guilty Pleasure?Elizabeth Dalevik - unknown
    Most people are in agreement that guilty pleasures exist, and that we feel them at some point in our life. In my masters thesis I am going to try and answer why guilty pleasure exists and if it should exist. I am going to do this by exploring three different types of situations where our aesthetic tastes may not align with what we think is correct to like. I will call these situations the self theory, the social theory and the (...)
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  • The Aesthetic Engagement Theory of Art.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:243-268.
    I introduce and explicate a new functionalist account of art, namely that something is an artwork iff the fulfillment of its function by a subject requires that the subject aesthetically engage it. This is the Aesthetic Engagement Theory of art. I show how the Aesthetic Engagement Theory outperforms salient rival theories in terms of extensional adequacy, non-arbitrariness, and ability to account for the distinctive value of art. I also give an account of what it is to aesthetically engage a work (...)
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  • Convergence, Community, and Force in Aesthetic Discourse.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Philosophers often characterize discourse in general as aiming at some sort of convergence (in beliefs, plans, dispositions, feelings, etc.), and many views about aesthetic discourse in particular affirm this thought. I argue that a convergence norm does not govern aesthetic discourse. The conversational dynamics of aesthetic discourse suggest that typical aesthetic claims have directive force. I distinguish between dynamic and illocutionary force and develop related theories of each for aesthetic discourse. I argue that the illocutionary force of aesthetic utterances is (...)
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  • Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations.Anthony Cross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Resolving to finish reading a novel, staying true to your punk style, or dedicating your life to an artistic project: these are examples of aesthetic commitments. I develop an account of the nature of such commitments, and I argue that they are significant insofar as they help us manage the temporally extended nature of our aesthetic agency and our relationships with aesthetic objects. At the same time, focusing on aesthetic commitments can give us a better grasp on the nature of (...)
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