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[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]R. Moore
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 15:41:25 -0800 (PST)
Carla reports that her students told her in no uncertain terms that a
thing doesn't have to be beautiful to be appreciated aesthetically. I
think they're right. There was a time, a century ago, when aesthetics was
widely regarded as the science of the beautiful, period. But, that view
has now been eclipsed by the more conceptually generous view that
aesthetics deals with a much wider range of responses to things. There is
quite a literature on aesthetic appreciation that dwells on negative
characteristics, ugliness, the morbid, the horrific, the obscene, etc.
And there is also a large literature on positive features other than
beauty: elegance, sublimity, humorousness, picturesqueness, delicacy, and
so on. I think it's great to keep the doors of appreication open wide,
and to reflect on the differences these divisions between types of