New Prospects for Aesthetic Hedonism
DOI link for New Prospects for Aesthetic Hedonism
New Prospects for Aesthetic Hedonism book
This chapter argues culture plays a role in determining aesthetic merit intrinsically similar objects can have different aesthetic value relative to audiences with different cultural backgrounds. The primary reason to embrace aesthetic anti-objectivism is that no other view adequately accounts for the cultural specificity of art and artistic excellence. Cultural universalism was in vogue in eighteenth-century Europe. Hume tried to defend it while still acknowledging intersubjective variation. Broadly speaking, a culture provides its members a range of possibilities for aesthetic enjoyment. There are things others have enjoyed, and these are made available to naive consumers along with possibilities of learning to enjoy by exposure and by instruction. According to Hume, aesthetic evaluation is a sentiment that lacks truth value. Hedonism maintains, by contrast, that evaluation is factual; it derives from a work's capacity to elicit aesthetic pleasure from its intended audience.