British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (3):283-298 (2017)

Authors
Kevin Melchionne
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Abstract
Our lives are filled with aesthetic choices, that is, choices of objects for aesthetic experience. Choice is crucial to having a fulfilling aesthetic life. Our immediate satisfaction and long term flourishing require the ability to generate rewarding aesthetic opportunities. A good aesthetic life is one of good aesthetic choices. Given the centrality of choice to a good aesthetic life, aesthetic theory is in need of an account of choice. However, aesthetic choice has gone unexamined. This paper considers how choice helps to make us who we are as aesthetic persons. I situate aesthetic choice within debates in contemporary choice theory. The paper also examines whether the recommenders on websites like Amazon or Netflix pose a risk to our aesthetic flourishing. Aesthetic choice is mostly constructive and conditional, in other words, ad hoc and easily influenced. Aesthetic choices tend to be small choices, with low stakes and relaxed deliberation. The effect of our choices is cumulative, and the import of individual choices is best judged by seeing them in the context of other choices, especially the plans to which they belong.
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayx019
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References found in this work BETA

Picking and Choosing.Edna Ullmann-Margalit & Sidney Morgenbesser - 1977 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 44 (4):757-785.
Is More Choice Better Than Less?Gerald Dworkin - 1982 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 7 (1):47-61.
Précis of Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.Peter M. Todd & Gerd Gigerenzer - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):727-741.
Big Decisions: Opting, Converting, Drifting.Edna Ullmann-Margalit - 2006 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 58:157-172.
Norms of Cultivation.Kevin Melchionne - 2015 - Contemporary Aesthetics 13.

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Citations of this work BETA

Aesthetic Commitments and Aesthetic Obligations.Anthony Cross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
Taste and the Algorithm.Emanuele Arielli - 2018 - Studi di Estetica 12 (3):77-97.

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