Aesthetic Reasons and the Demands They (Do Not) Make

Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
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Abstract
What does the aesthetic ask of us? What claims do the aesthetic features of the objects and events in our environment make on us? My answer in this paper is: that depends. Aesthetic reasons can only justify feelings – they cannot demand them. A corollary of this is that there are no aesthetic obligations to feel, only permissions. However, I argue, aesthetic reasons can demand actions – they do not merely justify them. A corollary of this is that there are aesthetic obligations to act, not only permissions. So, I conclude, the aesthetic asks little of us as patients and much of as agents.
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Archival date: 2020-05-19
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