Event Detail

Thu Feb 3, 2022
Howison Library
4–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Samantha Matherne (Harvard University)
Beyond the Either/Or in Aesthetic Life: A New Approach to Aesthetic Universality

When thinking through the question of how we should pursue aesthetic value, it might seem that we are faced with an either/or. Either we should pursue what has universal aesthetic value or we should pursue what speaks to us given who we are as individuals embedded in local communities and cultures. Though there are certainly versions of aesthetic universality that force this either/or, my aim is to defend a new account to aesthetic universality that complements aesthetic diversity. To this end, I offer a radically revised version of the classical conception of aesthetic universality found in thinkers like Hume and Kant. And I argue that we can not only pursue aesthetic value in line with both aesthetic universality and aesthetic diversity, but also that our aesthetic lives will be the better for it.