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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 115, Issue 3, March 2018

Keren Gorodeisky, Eric Marcus
Pages 113-140
DOI: 10.5840/jphil201811538

Aesthetic Rationality

We argue that the aesthetic domain falls inside the scope of rationality, but does so in its own way. Aesthetic judgment is a stance neither on whether a proposition is to be believed nor on whether an action is to be done, but on whether an object is to be appreciated. Aesthetic judgment is simply appreciation. Correlatively, reasons supporting theoretical, practical and aesthetic judgments operate in fundamentally different ways. The irreducibility of the aesthetic domain is due to the fact that aesthetic judgment is a sensory-affective disclosure of, and responsiveness to, merit: it is a feeling that presents an object, and is responsive to it, as worthy of being liked. Aesthetic judgment is thus shown to be, on the hand, first personal and non-transferable; and, on the other hand, a presentation of reality. We thereby capture what is right in both subjectivist and objectivist conceptions of aesthetic judgment.