Aesthetic Empiricism

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
Aesthetic Empiricism

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This chapter examines aesthetic empiricism – as characterized by Gregory Currie and David Davies – and mounts a partial defence. This is the view, broadly speaking, that what matters in the aesthetic judgement of a work is only what is immediately accessible to experience, thus excluding non-perceptible facts about the work's history of production. Positive and negative elements of aesthetic empiricism are identified, and only the positive side is defended, i.e., the importance of experience to aesthetic value. An empiricist constraint is proposed: ‘No aesthetic difference without a perceptual (experiential) difference’. Putative counterexamples from Danto- or Walton-type indiscernibles cases are shown not to entail the falsity of a defensible version of empiricism. Objections to ‘enlightened empiricism’ by David Davies are also shown to be surmountable.

Keywords: Currie; Davies; empiricism; aesthetic value; enlightened empiricism

Chapter.  6797 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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