Aesthetics, experience, and discrimination

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2):119–133 (2005)
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Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences reflect differences in the objects’ themselves. A range of objections to this position is considered, but all are found wanting.
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