The objectivity of aesthetic judgements

British Journal of Aesthetics 39 (1):40-52 (1999)


The first half of this article argues that, like judgments as to whether something smells or tastes good, judgments about works of art ultimately depend on an element of subjective response. However, it shows that, unlike gustatory or olfactory judgments, we can argue meaningfully about our experience of works of art because they have _parts<D>. Because works of art have parts these can be patterned by the imagination, and this patterning can be influenced by what is said to us. The second half considers five conditions that must be met before someone is entitled to assert, 'This is a good poem,' rather than simply, 'I like this poem now.' Finally, the last section considers why a report of an ultimately subjective response is disguised in everyday usage as an objective judgment

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,855

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

97 (#123,739)

6 months
2 (#257,917)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Intersubjective Validity of Aesthetic Judgements.Malcolm Budd - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (4):333-371.
The Concept of the Aesthetic.Nick Zangwill - 1998 - European Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):78–93.
Objectivity and the Aesthetic Value of Nature: Reply to Parsons.Malcolm Budd - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (3):267-273.
Towards a Reasonable Objectivism for Aesthetic Judgements.Elisabeth Schellekens - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2):163-177.
Freedom and Objectivity in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature.Glenn Parsons - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):17-37.
Aesthetic Essays.Malcolm Budd - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Relativism, Standards and Aesthetic Judgements.James O. Young - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):221 – 231.