The Default Theory of Aesthetic Value

British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):1-12 (2019)
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The default theory of aesthetic value combines hedonism about aesthetic value with strict perceptual formalism about aesthetic value, holding the aesthetic value of an object to be the value it has in virtue of the pleasure it gives strictly in virtue of its perceptual properties. A standard theory of aesthetic value is any theory of aesthetic value that takes the default theory as its theoretical point of departure. This paper argues that standard theories fail because they theorize from the default theory.

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James Shelley
Auburn University


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