Alexandra King: "Universalism and the Problem of Aesthetic Diversity"

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

(NB, time)

Alexandra King, University at Buffalo: "Universalism and the Problem of Aesthetic Diversity"


Abstract
Moral diversity and disagreement are typically things that we accept as important in a democratic society, in the way that any sort of diversity and disagreement ultimately promote the pursuit of truth. But we don't seem to value moral diversity and disagreement as such. Things look different for aesthetic diversity and disagreement. It seems like a good thing that we have diversity of aesthetic views and that we have aesthetic disagreements. If we all shared the same views and all disagreements were resolved, something profoundly important about our aesthetic lives would be lost. This thought is often taken to motivate anti-realist and anti-universalist claims in aesthetics, according to which there are at least some aesthetic reasons that apply to everyone. In this paper, I'll argue for an addendum to universalist views that captures these intuitions, and thus offer a partial defense of aesthetic universalism.