There Are No Purely Aesthetic Obligations

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):592-612 (2021)
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Abstract

Do aesthetic reasons have normative authority over us? Could there be anything like an aesthetic ‘ought’ or an aesthetic obligation? I argue that there are no aesthetic obligations. We have reasons to act certain ways regarding various aesthetic objects – most notably, reasons to attend to and appreciate those objects. But, I argue, these reasons never amount to duties. This is because aesthetic reasons are merely evaluative, not deontic. They can only entice us or invite us – they can never compel us. Beauty gives us goods without shoulds.

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Author's Profile

John Dyck
Auburn University

Citations of this work

Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations.Anthony Cross - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (38):402-422.
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.
Exemplars and expertise: what we cannot learn from saints and heroes.Alfred Archer & Matthew Dennis - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value.Dominic Lopes - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action.Joseph Raz - 1999 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press UK.

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