How To Form Aesthetic Belief: Interpreting The Acquaintance Principle

Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 3 (3):85-99 (2006)
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What are the legitimate sources of aesthetic belief? Which methods for forming aesthetic belief are acceptable? Although the question is rarely framed explicitly, it is a familiar idea that there is something distinctive about aesthetic matters in this respect. Crudely, the thought is that the legitimate routes to belief are rather more limited in the aesthetic case than elsewhere. If so, this might tell us something about the sorts of facts that aesthetic beliefs describe, about the nature of our aesthetic judgements, or about the responses that ground them. Getting the epistemology right here may help with the metaphysics, the semantics or the philosophical psychology. Investigating the legitimate sources of aesthetic belief may thus teach us something important about the aesthetic realm.

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Robert Hopkins
New York University


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