Nature and Aesthetic Judgement

Aesthetic Judgements of nature represent our ability to perceive and catalogue the world around us on a psychological and physiological level. While these judgements are a matter of perception, and each of us has a different understanding of the world around us, a whale is still a whale and a beach is still a beach and each still possesses the same properties that categorises them as one or the other – one’s personal preferences are only marginally linked to judgement as it is a process of understanding and not of taking mere pleasure in the world around us. (Keep reading)

Aesthetic Normativity

The whole field of aesthetics has become significantly less fashionable in recent years as it has continued to encounter scepticism over whether aesthetic judgements are anything other than an individual’s subjective judgement. On this view, aesthetic judgements tell us nothing about the object in question as a matter of fact and speaks solely to the disposition and preference of the individual making the judgement “x is beautiful”. Such judgements on this view are nothing more than opinion, and that there is no relationship whatsoever between human experience and of cold empirical objective reality – “x is beautiful” on this view is the same as saying “I like x”. However, when we put the sceptical view of aesthetics under pressure, it quickly begins to crack and unravel, particularly as one soon finds that scepticism of this kind is deeply rooted in an ideology of extreme toleration bound up with post-modernist thought. (keep reading)