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Beauty and Testimony

Hopkins, Robert (2000) Beauty and Testimony. In: O'Hear, Anthony, (ed.) Philosophy, the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements (47). Cambridge University Press , pp. 209-236. ISBN 9780521785112

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I ask whether, and how far, it is possible legitimately to acquire the belief that a given item is beautiful on the basis of someone's testimony that it is. This is an issue that concerned Kant. Kant held that testimony could never be a legitimate source of such judgements, and clearly took his account of aesthetic judgement to explain this fact. I argue that Kant's theory does not, in fact, provide the materials for a satisfactory explanation. Was Kant at least right about the explanadum? While broadly sympathetic to his views on that, I also suggest ways in which they need qualifying. I consider alternative explanations of why testimony should, in general, not be a legitimate source of aesthetic judgement, especially those rooted in anti-realism about the aesthetic. I find these two no more obviously correct, at least in their current state of development.

Item Type: Book Section
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Prof. Robert Hopkins
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 18:25
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 17:04
Status: Published
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10320

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