Does a plausible construal of aesthetic value give us reason to emphasize some aesthetic practices over others?

Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 15:522-532 (2023)
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Abstract

I propose a construal of aesthetic value that gives us reason to emphasize some aesthetic practices over others. This construal rests on the existence of a central aesthetic value, namely apprehension-testing intricacy within an appropriate domain. I address three objections: the objection that asks how an aesthetic value based on intricacy can account for the value of minimalism; the objection that asks about the difference between intricacy within a medium and intricacy between media; and the objection that asks about the danger of a regress. I then say that, although this central aesthetic value can in principle allow us to adjudicate between aesthetic practices, we have epistemic limits (about the potential of certain artistic domains to allow for apprehension-testing intricacy) that prevent adjudication in some cases. Even if there is a difference between the vastness of the potential-intricacy-fields somewhere down the line, it is too far for us to see.

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Andrew Wynn Owen
University of Texas at Austin

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References found in this work

Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value.Dominic Lopes - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
The view from nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (2):221-222.
Aesthetic practices and normativity.Robbie Kubala - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):408–425.
On Liking Aesthetic Value.Keren Gorodeisky - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):261-280.
Paradoxes of aesthetic distance.Oswald Hanfling - 2003 - British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2):175-186.

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