Reid on Aesthetic Response and the Perception of Beauty

Abstract : The paper makes three points: the first about the nature of aesthetic perception, ‘taste’; the second about its content, what is tasted, the objective side of beauty which Thomas Reid terms ‘excellence’; and the third about the location of beauty in the forms of nature or works of art, “where” excellence is expressed. Since for Reid the knowledge of other minds (human or divine) is a paradigm for our perception of beauty, aesthetic perception should be viewed as a social operation of the mind. In some cases, it involves a communication from God to human beings. My main claim is that the psychological approach to aesthetic perception must be complemented by a metaphysical account of what makes us feel the beautiful or the grand.
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Submitted on : Sunday, November 8, 2015 - 10:42:15 AM
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Laurent Jaffro. Reid on Aesthetic Response and the Perception of Beauty. R. Copenhaver; T. Buras. Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value, Oxford University Press, pp.124-138, 2015, Mind Association Occasional Series, ⟨10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733676.001.0001⟩. ⟨halshs-01226063⟩



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