British writers of the eighteenth century such as Shaftesbury and Hutcheson are widely thought to have used the notion of disinterestedness to distinguish an aesthetic mode of perception from all other kinds. This historical view originates in the work of Jerome Stolnitz. Through a re-examination of the texts cited by Stolnitz, I argue that none of the writers in question possessed the notion of disinterestedness that has been used in later aesthetic theory, but only the ordinary, non-technical concept, and that they did not use this notion to define a specifically aesthetic mode of perception or a specifically aesthetic mode of anything else. The nearest thing that they had to the Stolnitzian conception of “the aesthetic” was their conception of taste, which differs from the former in some essential respects.
Keywords Addison  Burke  Hutcheson  Alison  Shaftesbury  Stolnitz
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2002.0017
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Beyond Disinterestedness.Arnold Berleant - 1994 - British Journal of Aesthetics 34 (3):242-254.

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The Concept of the Aesthetic.James Shelley - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Beauty.Jennifer A. McMahon - 2019 - Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy.
Shaftesbury on Life as a Work of Art.Michael B. Gill - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (6):1110-1131.
Sensory Force, Sublime Impact, and Beautiful Form.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (4):449-464.

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