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James Shelley
Auburn University
  1. The Default Theory of Aesthetic Value.James Shelley - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):1-12.
    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 (...)
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  2.  59
    Aesthetic Acquaintance.James Shelley - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    If, as Richard Wollheim says, the Acquaintance Principle is “a well-entrenched principle in aesthetics,” it would be surprising if there were not something true at which those who have asserted it have been aiming. I argue that the Acquaintance Principle cannot be true on any traditional epistemic interpretation, nor on any usability interpretation of the sort Robert Hopkins has recently suggested. I then argue for an interpretation of the principle distinguished by three features: first, it treats acquaintance as something that (...)
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  3.  88
    Intelligible Beauty.James Shelley - 2022 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 96 (1):147-164.
    Arthur Danto argued from the premiss that artworks are essentially cognitive to the conclusion that they are incidentally aesthetic. I wonder why Danto, and the very many of us he persuaded, came to believe that the cognitive and the aesthetic oppose one another. I argue, contrary to Danto’s historical claims, that the cognitive and the aesthetic did not come into opposition until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, and that they were brought into opposition for reasons of art-critical expediency (...)
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  4. Hume's Double Standard of Taste.James Shelley - 1994 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52 (4):437-445.
    I attempt to make sense of Hume's enigmatic characterization of the standard of taste as "a rule, by which the various sentiments of men may be reconciled; at least, a decision, afforded, confirming one sentiment, and condemning another." In particular, I take up the questions (a) how the standard could be both a rule and a decision, (b) why it is at least a decision if not a rule, and (c) why, if a rule, it may reconcile various sentiments rather (...)
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  5.  88
    Critical Compatibilism.James Shelley - 2004 - In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Knowing Art: Essays in Epistemology and Aesthetics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 125-136.
    Isenbergian particularism is the view that we make no appeal to general principles in criticism. Sibleyan generalism is the view that we do make appeal to general reasons in criticism. I argue that Isenbergian particularism and Sibleyan generalism are compatible one with another. I refer to their conjunction as "critical compatibilism" and argue that we ought to accept it over its rivals: strong particularism (the view that we make appeal neither to general principles nor to general reasons in criticism) and (...)
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  6. Imagining the Truth: An Account of Tragic Pleasure.James Shelley - 2003 - In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. London and New York: pp. 177-185.
    The problem of tragedy is the problem of explaining why tragedy gives us the pleasure that it does, given that it has the content that it has. I propose a series of constraints that any adequate solution to the problem must satisfy. Then I develop a solution to the problem that satisfies those constraints. But I do not claim that the solution I develop uniquely satisfies the constraints I propose. I aim merely to narrow the field of contending solutions, and (...)
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