In Defence of the Acquaintance Principle in Aesthetics

Episteme:1-19 (forthcoming)
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Making an adequate aesthetic judgment about an object or an aesthetic property requires first-hand experience of that object or property. Many have suggested that this principle is a valid epistemic norm in the epistemology of the aesthetic. However, some recent philosophers have argued that certain works of conceptual art and other counterexamples disprove the principle in question, even suitably modified. In this paper, I argue that these philosophers are mistaken and that, when properly qualified, the acquaintance principle (in some of its versions) is not threatened by their examples and arguments.

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Andrea Sauchelli
Lingnan University


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