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The Aesthetic Value of the World$
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Tom Cochrane

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780192848819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192848819.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

The Creation of Art

The Creation of Art

(p.163) 8 The Creation of Art
The Aesthetic Value of the World

Tom Cochrane

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents Aestheticism as a general approach to life. It is argued that a dedicated aestheticist will be inspired to create works of art. In alignment with this view an aesthetic functionalist account of art is defended, incorporating aspects of the expression theory of art and the cognitive theory of art. It is then suggested that the way an artist creatively responds to the value of the world is an ideal of living well. Moreover, although there are other such ideals, the artistic paradigm can apply to a variety of human activities, including the pursuit and expression of one’s understanding (as in philosophy). In the latter part of the chapter it is then argued that, in distilling aesthetic values, the artist has an important social role to play. Artworks help us to discern value ideals, and our capacity to discern values is a vital component of virtue.

Keywords:   Aestheticism, art, aesthetic functionalism, artists, the good life, virtue, virtue aesthetics, social benefits, expression theory, cognitive value

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