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Aesthetic Evalution and First-hand Experience
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala Universitet. (Teoretisk filosofi)
(English)In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0004-8402, E-ISSN 1471-6828Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Evaluative aesthetic discourse communicates that the speaker has had first-hand experience of what is talked about. If you call a book bewitching, it will be assumed that you have read the book. If you say that a building is beautiful, it will be assumed that you have had some visual experience with it. According to an influential view, this is because knowledge is a norm for assertion, and aesthetic knowledge requires first-hand experience. This paper criticizes this view and argues for an alternative view, according to which aesthetic discourse expresses affective states of mind, analogously to how assertions express beliefs. It is because these affective states require first-hand experience that aesthetic discourse communicates that such acquaintance is at hand. The paper furthermore argues that the lack of an experience requirement for aesthetic belief ascriptions constitutes a problem for the kind of expressivist who claims that evaluative belief states are covert non-cognitive states.

Keywords [en]
KEYWORDS: first-hand experience, aesthetic evaluation, evaluative discourse, acquaintance inference, expressivism, aesthetic knowledge
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-341025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-341025DiVA, id: diva2:1180618
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-08-07
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