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Popular Art, Bad Art, and the Data of Philosophical Aesthetics

  • Jonathan RobsonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Abstract

Even those who are generally sceptical of the so called ‘empirical turn’ in recent philosophical aesthetics still accept that there is a clear sense in which aestheticians should be attentive to some empirical data. In particular, it is commonly presupposed that a careful observation of the nature of various works of art often plays a role within aesthetics which is somewhat parallel to the role which experimental data plays in certain sciences. In this paper, I suggest that aestheticians have typically failed to pay attention to the full range of artistic data. Specifically, I argue that an (almost) exclusive focus on works of artistic excellence has led to a problematic neglect of aesthetic practices relating to works of little (or no) merit. To illustrate this point, I focus on the case of the neglect of popular art and argue that even if—as I don’t myself accept—such works are uniformly worse that works of ‘high art’ this would do nothing to justify their neglect within philosophical aesthetics.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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