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Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind$
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Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin, and Jon Robson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.001.0001

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Feckless Reason

Feckless Reason

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 Feckless Reason
Source:
Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind
Author(s):

Dominic McIver Lopes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.003.0002

Empirical research on aesthetic response poses two challenges to philosophy. The more familiar challenge is that scientific explanations of aesthetic responses debunk what we take to be our reasons for those responses. One reaction to this challenge is an accommodation strategy that seeks to reconcile the scientific findings with an improved understanding of our normative reasons. This paper presents a more fundamental challenge: some empirical research challenges the role of reasoning in aesthetic response. This challenges the accommodation strategy and suggests that philosophy should adopt a more radical naturalism about aesthetic response.

Keywords:   aesthetic responses, social psychology, debunking explanations, philosophical methodology, Richard Nisbett, Timothy Wilson, criticism

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