New Prospects for Aesthetic Hedonism

In Jennifer A. McMahon (ed.), Social Aesthetics and Moral Judgment: Pleasure, Reflection and Accountability. London: Routledge. pp. 13-33 (2018)
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Because culture plays a role in determining the aesthetic merit of a work of art, intrinsically similar works can have different aesthetic merit when assessed in different cultures. This paper argues that a form of aesthetic hedonism is best placed to account for this relativity of aesthetic value. This form of hedonism is based on a functional account of aesthetic pleasure, according to which it motivates and enables mental engagement with artworks, and an account of pleasure-learning, in which it reinforces the appreciation of culture specific ways of engaging with art.
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Archival date: 2017-11-17
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