Towards a Pragmatist Aesthetics

The British Journal of Aesthetics, Volume 62, Issue 3, July 2022, Pages 453–474

22 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2022

Date Written: August 26, 2022

Abstract

In this paper, I make the case that the tradition of pragmatism may usefully inform aesthetic criticism. To that end, I contrast the anti-essentialist outlook and the ethico-political concerns of neo-pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty with the epistemological underpinnings of analytic aesthetics. The aim is to outline an alternative meta-theoretical perspective that ‘overwrites’ long-standing concerns with exactitude and objectivity. Drawing on examples from my own area of expertise, film, and television studies, I seek to explicitly set up aesthetic criticism, especially evaluation, as a means of social progress and human flourishing within the framework of liberal democracy.

Keywords: aesthetics, pragmatism, Rorty

Suggested Citation

Lavik, Erlend, Towards a Pragmatist Aesthetics (August 26, 2022). The British Journal of Aesthetics, Volume 62, Issue 3, July 2022, Pages 453–474, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4203473

Erlend Lavik (Contact Author)

University of Bergen ( email )

Muséplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58
Norway

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