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Content available remote Why Aesthetic Value Judgements Cannot Be Justified
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EN
The article is part of a longer argument, the gist of which stands in direct opposition to the claim implied by the article's title. The ambition of that larger whole is to offer a theory of art evaluation together with a theoretical model showing how aesthetic value judgements can be inter-subjectively tested and justified. Here the author therefore plays devil's advocate by citing, strengthening, and inventing arguments against the very possibility of justification or explanation of aesthetic judgements. The reason is his conviction that such arguments have not been fully met. The article is thus intended as a challenge: any theory of art evaluation which assumes, or tries to establish, that some works of art are better than others or that aesthetic judgements are not just statements expressing personal likes and dislikes, should show how such arguments can be demolished.
EN
This paper develops an account of judge-dependence, conceived of as a generalization of the better known notion of response dependence. It then solves a number of problems for the view that aesthetic judgements are judge-dependent in this sense. Finally, a parallel case for the judge-dependence of moral judgement is assessed.
Ikonotheka
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2008
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tom 21
213-224
EN
Modernity has developed complex mechanisms of esthetic valorization, based on formal and artistic qualities judged by the taste. However, as Pierre Bourdieu has shown in his studies, the judgment of taste is in fact the main modern means for social differentiation. At the same time, according to David Freedberg, these mechanisms obscure the inborn human attitude towards images which consists of mixing up the represented with the representation, and subsequently prevent modern educated audiences from natural response to the images classified as art. Modern perception of religious imagery can be a sensitive example of a field where the classificatory role of the esthetic judgment is particularly well visible because the religious purpose of an image calls both for different hierarchy of values than the one found in the modern field of art, and different image ontology. The article is based on field material consisting of in-depth interviews with Catholic believers, conducted in Wesola near Warsaw, and three major pilgrimage sites of Poland: Czestochowa, Lichen and Kalwaria Paclawska. Wesola was chosen because of the outstanding decoration of its parish church of Divine Providence, executed by a modern painter from Cracow, Jerzy Nowosielski and highly appreciated by art critics and specialists. However, the style of decoration proved very unfamiliar and strange for the local believers. The article attempts to show the hierarchy of values used by the believers towards the religious images, and then to explain this hierarchy both in terms of Joanna Tokarska-Bakir's interpretation of image ontology in so-called 'folk piety'. In spite of similar understanding of image ontology apparently shared by the artist and the believers, social distinction made by the mechanisms of esthetic judgment resulted in form unfamiliar to them and lack of appreciation of the work.
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Content available remote OTAKAR ZICH: AESTHETIC AND ARTISTIC EVALUATION, PART 1
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EN
In this important article, first published in 1917, the Czech aesthetician, musicologist, and composer Otakar Zich (1879-1934) distinguishes between two kinds of evaluation of a work of art: aesthetic evaluation and artistic evaluation. He bases this differentiation on two possible attitudes that a perceiver may have towards a work of art. The first originates solely in the perceiver's experience of the work and his or her search for a feeling of pleasure. It reflects only the subjective preferences of the individual; Zich terms the corresponding value 'relative aesthetic value'. Above the relative value of an emotional effect there is an evaluation of a higher order, which consists in 'comprehending' a work of art. It is to this evaluation that artistic value corresponds. According to Zich, however, this objective value is grounded not in the work itself, but in the distinctive 'personal value' of the artist. In artistic evaluation, the work of art is therefore evaluated as a manifestation of strong artistic individuality.
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Content available remote Aesthetic Supervenience versus Aesthetic Grounding
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EN
The claim that having aesthetic properties supervenes on having non-aesthetic properties has been widely discussed and, in various ways, defended. In this article, I aim to demonstrate that even if it is sometimes true that a supervenience relation holds between aesthetic properties and ‘subvenient’ non-aesthetic ones, it is not the interesting relation in the neighbourhood. As we shall see, a richer, asymmetric, and irreflexive relation is required, and I shall defend the claim that the increasingly popular relation of grounding does amuch better job than supervenience.
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Content available remote Otakar Zich: Aesthetic and Artistic Evaluation, Parts 2 & 3
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EN
In this important article, first published in 1917, the Czech aesthetician, musicologist, and composer Otakar Zich (1879-1934) distinguishes between two kinds of evaluation of a work of art: aesthetic evaluation and artistic evaluation. He bases this differentiation on two possible attitudes that a perceiver may have towards a work of art. The first originates solely in the perceiver's experience of the work and his or her search for a feeling of pleasure. It reflects only the subjective preferences of the individual; Zich terms the corresponding value 'relative aesthetic value'. Above the relative value of an emotional effect there is an evaluation of a higher order, which consists in 'comprehending' a work of art. It is to this evaluation that artistic value corresponds. According to Zich, however, this objective value is grounded not in the work itself, but in the distinctive 'personal value' of the artist. In artistic evaluation, the work of art is therefore evaluated as a manifestation of strong artistic individuality. The first part of the article was published in the previous issue.
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Content available remote Aesthetic Disinterestedness in Kant and Schopenhauer
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EN
While several commentators agree that Schopenhauer’s theory of ‘will-less contemplation’ is a variant of Kant’s account of aesthetic disinterestedness, I shall argue here that Schopenhauer’s account departs from Kant’s in several important ways, and that he radically transforms Kant’s analysis of aesthetic judgement into a novel aesthetic attitude theory. In the first part of the article, I critically discuss Kant’s theory of disinterestedness, pay particular attention to rectifying a common misconception of this notion, and discuss some significant problems with Kant’s approach. In part two, I argue that Schopenhauer gives up Kant’s concern with the transcendental conditions of the reflecting judgement, but nonetheless retains two crucial aspects of Kant’s analysis: first, the idea that pure aesthetic pleasure cannot be based on the satisfaction of some personal desire or inclination and, second, that aesthetic experience is ultimately based on the stimulation of our cognitive powers. For Kant, too, suggests that, although our application of the predicate ‘beautiful’ be independent of the subsumption of the object under any determinate concept, it still leaves room for the imagination and the understanding to play ‘beyond’ what is regulated by determinate concepts. For Schopenhauer, aesthetic pleasure is equally the result of the cognitive freedom and expansion that the ‘will-less’ attitude affords. Schopenhauer thus transforms the Kantian transcendental analysis of beauty in terms of ‘non-conceptual reflection’ into a psychological theory of beauty in terms of ‘non-conceptual cognition’. Hence, according to both Kant and Schopenhauer (or so I argue) a beautiful object yields a degree of harmony that cannot be reduced to the discursively rigid unity offered by conceptual knowledge. And, although Schopenhauer’s ‘idealistic’ version of aesthetic perception fails to accommodate for several valuable ways in which artworks can convey ideas, thoughts, and emotions, his account of aesthetic contemplation in terms of ‘will-lessness’ and objectivity is still rich in psychological insight.
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