The Aesthetic Value of the World

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (2021)
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This book defends Aestheticism- the claim that everything is aesthetically valuable and that a life lived in pursuit of aesthetic value can be a particularly good one. Furthermore, in distilling aesthetic qualities, artists have a special role to play in teaching us to recognize values; a critical component of virtue. I ground my account upon an analysis of aesthetic value as ‘objectified final value’, which is underwritten by an original psychological claim that all aesthetic values are distal versions of practical values. This is followed by systematic accounts of beauty, sublimity, comedy, drama, and tragedy, as well as appendix entries on the cute, the cool, the kitsch, the uncanny, the horrific, the erotic, and the furious.

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Tom Cochrane
Flinders University


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