chapter  1
Relativism, Standards and Aesthetic Judgements
ByJames O. Young
Pages 11

In the past few years, a sophisticated literature has developed that defends a relativist semantics for certain classes of sentences. In this literature, the class of aesthetic judgements is often regarded as a good candidate for relativist treatment. Partly because much of this literature has been generated by writers without a clear understanding of aesthetic judgements, an inaccurate picture of aesthetic relativism has emerged. A relativist semantics that is satisfactory for, say, future contingents will not work for aesthetic judgements. This paper neither defends nor attacks relativism about aesthetic judgements. It simply attempts to clarify the sorts of aesthetic relativism on offer and, in particular, to investigate whether relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements is possible. I will conclude that, although several plausible positions lead to relativism about aesthetic properties, relativism about truth-values of aesthetic judgements remains elusive.