Philosophical Aestheticism

Sebastian Gardner

in The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234097
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Philosophical Aestheticism

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Though, neither art nor affect had any importance in the original programme of analytic philosophy, in the course of its development Anglophone philosophy has incorporated both within its bounds. Debates concerning the nature of aesthetic judgement, the representational, expressive, and other dimensions of works of art, the psychological role of emotion and its differentiation from other species of mental state, have become sophisticated and fine-grained. The approaches taken in analytic aesthetics and philosophy of mind remain quite distinct from and largely at variance with the views of art and affect found in continental European philosophy. Philosophical Aestheticism is defined not by any specific philosophical doctrine but by the kind of strategy that it employs to establish the philosophically cognitive status of Aesthetic phenomena. This article describes and analyses this strategy, and examines some of its most striking historical instances. It looks briefly at the important historical critiques of Philosophical Aestheticism.

Keywords: analytic philosophy; Anglophone philosophy; aesthetic judgement; continental European philosophy; Philosophical Aestheticism

Article.  20362 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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