Cross-Cultural Aesthetics and Etiquette
DOI link for Cross-Cultural Aesthetics and Etiquette
Cross-Cultural Aesthetics and Etiquette book
This chapter analyses the normative and aesthetic features of the contexts in which the exchange occurs of 'inalienable possessions': those objects closely bound with identity. It argues that if aesthetic appreciation has the capacity to create communities of understanding and respect, as has been claimed for it, then this involves an imaginative engagement with the ceremonial contexts for which such objects were produced, including the etiquette of those contexts. In exhibiting an object in a gallery, some people claim that people are demonstrating respect for the society that produced it. An aesthetic response to the objects may also seem to be ethical because an aesthetic response to an object is often associated with special treatment, or setting it apart and keeping it special. The chapter argues that rather than being descriptive, the category art is normative. Aesthetic appreciation is sometimes, even often, written about, and engaged in, as a normative ideal.