Irene Martínez Marín: "The Rationality of New Value Acquisition"

  • 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

Irene Martínez Marín, Uppsala University: "The Rationality of New Value Acquisition"

I begin by characterising the acquisition of new aesthetic values in relation to the phenomenon of 'aspiration'. I will then focus on two questions concerning the rationality of this phenomenon. First, how a person can coherently integrate a new aesthetic value into their life. Second, how engagement with certain aesthetic items can be compelling/reason-giving for those who do not already value them. In exploring these questions, I show that our aesthetic theories can be divided into proponents of aesthetic improvement and those that defend self-cultivation. I raise some objections to the idea that we must choose between these two standards to guide aesthetic engagement. Turning briefly to Schiller's essay 'On Grace and Dignity' (1793), I close the paper by highlighting the importance of following the "demands of both reason and sensibility" in the process of learning new aesthetic values—a point that I believe has not been sufficiently theorised in contemporary aesthetics. This paper is related to a broader project that seeks to explain how being aesthetically rational is both a matter of properly engaging with aesthetically worthy objects and of having the right relationship between our appreciative attitudes.