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ERIC Number: EJ874035
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Beardsley for the Twenty-First Century
Feagin, Susan L.
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v44 n1 p11-18 Spr 2010
Beardsley's "Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism" continues to provide a valuable resource for those of one who takes questions about value and evaluation to be central to the philosophical enterprise, even if one chooses to focus on the philosophy of art more or less independently of the aesthetic. Nevertheless, Beardsley's instrumentalist view that the value of an artwork resides in its capacity to provide an aesthetic experience contains a major structural problem--what the author calls "Beardsley's dilemma." The problem lies in the tension between the claim that the value of a work resides in its capacity to evoke an experience having a certain phenomenological quality, and the claim that the properties or qualities of the work are valuable not merely as a means for producing such an experience. In this article, the author describes why understanding Beardsley's dilemma is important if one takes having emotions and other affective responses to art as part of what is valuable about it. The author distinguishes between Beardsley's instrumentalism and a noninstrumentalist version of functionalism as two different models for understanding art's value. Some exercises involving the evaluation of art and nonart objects--exercises that might usefully be undertaken by students using objects of their own choosing--illustrate how functionalism skirts Beardsley's dilemma and better explicates the nature and locus of the values concerned. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A