James Lewis: "The Peculiar Allure of Another’s Aesthetic Worldview"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Zoom (contact Irene Martinez Marin for link)
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Irene Martinez Marin
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

James Lewis, University of Birmingham: "The Peculiar Allure of Another’s Aesthetic Worldview"

If we withheld our attention as far as possible from other people’s aesthetic qualities, we would mitigate the injustices brought about by stigma and prejudice in the domain of personal aesthetic judgement. But are there important reasons that speak in favour of interpersonal aesthetic attention? In this paper, I argue for one such reason. Namely, I hold that interest in another’s aesthetic worldview – which requires attention to their personal aesthetic qualities – has a distinctive and weighty value for many kinds of relationship. My argument proceeds by first establishing that a key part of the kind of intimacy that is valuable to many personal relationships is parties’ appreciation of core aspects of one another’s personalities. The question then becomes whether it is valuable for one’s aesthetic worldview to be such a core aspect. In response, I offer some plausible assumptions about the importance of an aesthetic worldview for creativity, and for autonomous agency more generally. In light of these considerations, it appears that both our aesthetic worldviews, and interpersonal interest in them, are deeply valuable to individual and social life.