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Philosophical Perspectives on Art$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.001.0001

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Replies to Arguments Suggesting that Critics' Strong Evaluations could not be Soundly Deduced

Replies to Arguments Suggesting that Critics' Strong Evaluations could not be Soundly Deduced

Chapter:
(p.207) 14 Replies to Arguments Suggesting that Critics' Strong Evaluations could not be Soundly Deduced
Source:
Philosophical Perspectives on Art
Author(s):

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.003.0015

This chapter reviews and rejects arguments offered in support of the opinion that the reasons offered in favour of strong aesthetic evaluations (‘this work is good’) cannot be sufficiently strong logically to entail their truth. In summary the arguments are: there is an unbridgeable gap between facts and values; evaluations are disguised ‘ought’ statements that could not follow from ‘is’ statements; criticism is concerned with conveying perceptually based experiences of the work rather than beliefs about it; there can be no general rules of artistic value because we value works of art for what makes each unique; the creativity of artists transcends the possibility of rules concerning art in general; and generalizations about the dependence of aesthetic value on the occurrence of any given set of aesthetic properties are always defeasible. None of these positions succeed in showing that reasoning in aesthetics has a distinctive, non-deductive character.

Keywords:   aesthetic evaluations, truth, criticism

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