Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (38):402-422 (2022)
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Abstract

Resolving to finish reading a novel, staying true to your punk style, or dedicating your life to an artistic project: these are examples of aesthetic commitments. I develop an account of the nature of such commitments, and I argue that they are significant insofar as they help us manage the temporally extended nature of our aesthetic agency and our relationships with aesthetic objects. At the same time, focusing on aesthetic commitments can give us a better grasp on the nature of aesthetic normativity; this is because, in making aesthetic commitments, we are capable of giving aesthetic concerns the weight of obligation. I argue that appealing to aesthetic commitments allows us to account for the existence of aesthetic obligations as well as their grounding. I conclude by arguing that, although the aesthetic domain is a domain of play and freedom of choice, there is nevertheless an important place in it for both aesthetic commitments and the aesthetic obligations they generate.

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Author's Profile

Anthony Cross
Texas State University

Citations of this work

Agency and aesthetic identity.Kenneth Walden - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3253-3277.
Admiration, Appreciation, and Aesthetic Worth.Daniel Whiting - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):375-389.
Reasons, normativity, and value in aesthetics.Alex King - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 17 (1):1-17.
Non-Monotonic Theories of Aesthetic Value.Robbie Kubala - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
The Poets of Our Lives.Kenneth Walden - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Ethics without principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Moral saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.

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