Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience

The Epistemology of Aesthetic Properties

In this talk, I'll sketch two models of how one forms the belief that a given aesthetic property is instantiated (e.g., that something is graceful, gaudy, and so forth). One model appeals to the controversial claim that we literally perceptually experience aesthetic properties, and the other eschews this claim. I will argue that both models are unacceptable for broadly the same reason, and suggest that we can fix the problem by adopting a theory on which emotion plays a central role in aesthetic judgment.