Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross-cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This publication was made possible through the support of a grant from the Fuller Theological Seminary/Thrive Center in concert with the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fuller Thrive Center or the John Templeton Foundation. F.C.'s work on this publication was funded by the Cogito Foundation (Zurich) as part of project S-131/13 (“Towards an experimental philosophy of aesthetics”).
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- aesthetic judgment
- aesthetic realism
- experimental philosophy