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Colloquium: Nick Riggle

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 3:00pm

Cohen 402

Please join us on Friday, December 9th for our Philosophy Department Colloquium with Professor Nick Riggle. The event will start at 3pm in room 402 of Cohen Hall, with a reception to follow.
Title: Aesthetic Value and the Practice of Aesthetic Valuing
Abstract: A theory of aesthetic value should explain what makes aesthetic value good. Current views about what makes aesthetic value good privilege the individual’s encounter with aesthetic value—listening to music, reading a novel, writing a poem, or viewing a painting. What makes aesthetic value good is supposedly a matter of how it benefits an individual appreciator. But engagement with aesthetic value is often a collective matter: sharing and discussing aesthetic goods, imitating aesthetic agents, dancing, cooking, dining, or making music together. Here I argue that we can and should construct a theory of aesthetic value that centers these social forms of aesthetic engagement. To this end, I argue that there is a general social practice of aesthetic valuing. I characterize the practice as a value-governed, collective practice and argue that it is governed by the distinctive values of individuality and aesthetic freedom, which are the main ingredients for the higher governing value of aesthetic community. Current theories of aesthetic value have trouble capturing the character of the practice of aesthetic valuing, and this motivates a novel communitarian theory of aesthetic value: Aesthetic value is whatever is worthy of aesthetic valuing.