Philosophy 72 (281):383-399 (1997)

Authors
Matthew Kieran
University of Leeds
Abstract
From Plato through Aquinas to Kant and beyond beauty has traditionally been considered the paradigmatic aesthetic quality. Thus, quite naturally following Socrates' strategy in The Meno, we are tempted to generalize from our analysis of the nature and value of beauty, a particular aesthetic value, to an account of aesthetic value generally. When we look at that which is beautiful, the object gives rise to a certain kind of pleasure within us. Thus aesthetic value is characterized in terms of that which affords us pleasure. Of course, the relation cannot be merely instrumental. Many activities may lead to consequent pleasures that we would not consider to be aesthetic in any way. For example, playing tennis, going swimming or finishing a book
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100057077
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