Aesthetic Value and Aesthetic Judgment.

The Hard Problem for Contemporary Aesthetic Naturalism

  • Gianluca Consoli La Sapienza, University of Rome
Keywords: aesthetic value, aesthetic judgment, scientific aesthetics, art criticism

Abstract

Contemporary aesthetic naturalism integrates various scientific approaches into the common effort to provide an explanation of the main topics of aesthetics on the basis of empirical methods or in line with available evidence. Although these approaches have recently achieved very relevant empirical and theoretical results, contemporary aesthetic naturalism still does not solve the traditional hard problem of naturalism as such, that is the explanation of value in scientific terms.  Firstly, I analyse the possible responses to this hard problem, showing that aesthetic value, particularly in the version of artistic value, remains outside the scope of current empirical approaches to aesthetics. Then I propose that this apparently strong philosophical limitation can be easily reduced to an ordinary epistemological limitation if aesthetic naturalism accepts to improve the interaction with art criticism, the discipline in the humanities characterised by a privileged access to the historical and social reasons that justify aesthetic judgments

References

Ayer, Alfred, 1936. Language, Truth, and Logic. New York: Dover Pubns.
Barash, David, Barash Nanelle. 2005. Madame Bovary’s Ovaries: A Darwinian Look at Literature, New York: Delacourt.
Bechtel, William. 1991. “Multiple Levels of Inquiry in Cognitive Science.” Psychological Research 52:271–281.
Carbon, Claus-Christian. 2019. “Empirical Approaches to Studying Art Experience.” Journal of Perceptual Imaging 2: 10501–7.
Carroll, Joseph. 2004. Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature, and Literature. London: Taylor & Francis
Carroll, Joseph. 2011. Reading Human Nature: Literary Darwinism in Theory and Practice. New York: State University of New York Press.
Carroll, Joseph, Gottschall, Jonathan, Johnson, John, Kruger, Daniel. 2012. Graphing Jane Austen: The Evolutionary Basis of Literary Meaning. London: Palgrave.
Consoli, Gianluca. 2014. “The Emergence of the Modern Mind: An Evolutionary Perspective on Aesthetic Experience.” The Journal of Aesthetic and Art Criticism, 72:37–55.
Consoli, Gianluca. 2015. “From Beauty to Knowledge: A New Frame for the Neuropsychological Approach to Aesthetics.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
Consoli, Gianluca. 2016a. “Predictive error reduction and the twofold nature of aesthetic pleasure.” Art and Perception 4:327–38.
Consoli, Gianluca. 2016b. “In Search of the Ontological Common Core of Artworks: Radical Embodiment and Non-Universalitation.” Estetika 53:14–41.
Consoli, Gianluca. 2018. “Preliminary Steps Towards a Cognitive Theory of Fiction and Its Effects.” Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science 2:85–100.
Danto, Arthur. 2007. “The Transfiguration Transfigured: Concluding Remark.” Online Conference in Aesthetic: Arthur Danto’s Transfiguration of the Common Place – 25 Years Later, URL: www.http://www.vanderbilt.edu./AnS/philosophy/events/.00A/DantoConference.pdf.
Dissanayake, Ellen, 2015. “Aesthetic Primitives: Fundamental Biological Elements of a Naturalistc Aesthetics” 8:6–24.
Djikic, Maja, Oatley, Keith, Carland, Matthew. 2012. “Genre or Artistic Merit: The Effect of Literature on Personality.” Scientific Study of Literature 2:25–36.
Edelman, Gerald. 2006. Second Nature. Brain Science and Human Knowledge. Yale University Press.
Gibbs, Raymon, Colston Herbert, “What Psycholinguistic Studies Ignore About Literary Experience.” Scientific Study of Literature 9:72–103.
Gottshall, Jonathan. 2008. The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence, and the World of Homer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Henshilwood Christopher, D’Errico Francesco (Eds.). 2011. Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Kahneman, Daniel. 2012. Thinking, Fast and Slow. London: Penguin Books.
Kant, Immanuel. 1790. Kritik der Urteilskraft [2000. Critique of the Power of Judgment], translation by Paul Guyer, Eric Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kaufman, Whitley. 2016. Human Nature and the Limits of Darwinism. Palgrave: London.
Kidd, David, Castano Emanuele. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342:377–380.
Koopman, Eva, Hakemulder, Frank. (2015). “Effects of Literature on Empathy and Self-Reflection: A Theoretical-Empirical Framework.” Journal of Literary Theory 9:79–111.
Kringelbach, Morten, Berridge, Kent. 2010. “The Functional Neuroanatomy of Pleasure and Happiness.” Discovery Medicine 9:579–87.
Kuiken, Don, Miall David, Sikora, Shelley. 2004. “Forms of self-implication in literary reading.” Poetics Today 25:171–203.
Leder, H., Gerger, G., Brieber, D., & Schwarz, N. 2014. “What Makes an Art Expert? Emotion and Evaluation in Art Appreciation.” Cognition and Emotion 28:1–11.
Miall David, Kuiken Don. 1994. “Foregrounding, Defamiliarization, and Affect: Response to Literary Stories.” Poetics 22:389–407.
Muth, Claudia, Carbon, Christian. 2013. “The Aesthetic Aha: On the Pleasure of Having Insights Into Gestalt.” Acta Psychologica 144:25–30.
Nadal, Marcos, Skov Martin. 2013. “Neuroaesthetics: Cognition and Neurobiology of Aesthetic experience.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7: special issue.
Nordlund, Marcus. 2007. Shakespeare and the Nature of Love: Literature, Culture, Evolution. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Pearce, Marcus et al. 2016. “Neuroaesthetics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience.” Perspective on Psychological Science 2:265–79.
Pelowski, Matthew et al. 2017a. “Move Me, Astonish Me…Delight My Eyes and Brain: The Vienna Integrated Model of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Processes in Art Perception and Corresponding Affective, Evaluative, and Neurophysiological Correlates.” Physics of Life Reviews 21:80–125.
Pelowski, Matthew et al. 2017b. “Beyond Lab: An Examination of Key Factors Influencing Interaction with ‘Real’ and Museum-Based Art.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 11:245–264.
Pinker, Steven. 1997. How the Mind Works. New York: Norton.
Pino, Mariachiara, Mazza, Monica. 2016. “The Use of ‘Literary Fiction’ to Promote Mentalizing Ability.” PloS One 11.
Putnam, Hilary. 2002. The Collapse of Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Saunders, Judith. 2018. American Literary Classics: Evolutionary Perspectives. Boston: Academic Studies Press.
Sibley, Frank. 1959. “Aesthetic Concepts.” Philosophical Review 68:421–450.
Skov, Martin, Nadal, Marcos. 2020. “A Farewell to Art: Aesthetics as a Topic in Psychology and Neuroscience.” Perspective on Psychological Science, 1–13.
Sugiyama, Michelle, 2003. “Cultural Variation Is Part of Human Nature. Literary Universals, Context-Sensitivity, and ‘Shakespeare in the Bush’.” Human Nature 14: 383–396.
Thomasson, A. 2005. “The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63:221–29.
Published
2020-12-31