The Role Of Aesthetic Experience

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One of the abiding themes of the three essays which make up Iris Murdoch’s wonderful The Sovereignty of Good1 is that experience can be a way of our coming to possess aesthetic concepts. “We learn through attending to contexts, vocabulary develops through close attention to objects, and we can only understand others if we can to some extent share their [spatio-temporal and conceptual] contexts.” (IP, p.31). My interest in this paper is in what account of aesthetic experience can respect this intuition; that “close attention to objects” can play an important role in our acquisition of aesthetic knowledge and concepts. I want to suggest that certain debates in the philosophy of mind can help us consider how aesthetic experience must be structured in order to play this role.
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Archival date: 2019-07-28
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