The Aesthetic Attitude?

  • Mary A. McCloskey


Theories which incorporate as their central feature the notion of an ‘aesthetic attitude’ have come under spirited attack by contemporary writers on aesthetics. The general description of such theories is that they maintain that a peculiar state of mind is a necessary, if not a sufficient, condition for anything’s being ‘aesthetic’. Thus George Dickie says,

present day aesthetic attitude theories… maintain that anything can be aesthetic if and only if it is experienced while in the aesthetic attitude.1


Aesthetic Experience Aesthetic Judgement Psychical Distance Religious Revelation Putative Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    George Dickie, Art and the Aesthetic (Ithaca, New York and London, 1974) p. 12.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Marshall Cohen, Aesthetic Essence, in Philosophy in America, ed. Max Black (London, 1965) p. 117.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Meredith, Aesthetic Judgement, pp. 172, 212; Kant’s gesammelte Schriften, vol. 5, §48, p. 311, lines 9–13; §57, p. 344, lines 4–7.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Meredith, Aesthetic Judgement, pp. 70–1; Kant’s gesammelte Schriften, vol. 5, §15, p. 228, line 6-p.229, line 5.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    George Dickie, ‘The Myth of the Aesthetic Attitude’, American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 1, 1964, p. 57.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Rader and B. Jessop, Art and Human Values (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1976) p. 61.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Consider Lawrence Durrell’s description in the Alexandrian Quartet.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Consider Epstein’s Bust of a Sick Child.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mary A. McCloskey 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary A. McCloskey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations