The Perception of Beauty in Hutcheson's First Inquiry: A Response To James Shelley

British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (4):416-431 (2007)
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James Shelley argues that the perception of beauty, as Hutcheson characterizes it, in the first of the two treatises that comprise the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, that is, the Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design, is not what I called in The Seventh Sense, ‘non-epistemic’ perception but, rather, ‘epistemic’ perception through and through. Having studied Shelley's arguments with care, and consulted the relevant primary sources yet again, I am still convinced that the best reading of Hutcheson's second Inquiry, in the first edition of 1725, has Hutcheson espousing a non-epistemic account of our perception of what he calls ‘absolute beauty’. And so I argue in the present paper



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