I will presenting my paper titled “Aptness of Perception and Aesthetic Normativity” at the European Society for Aesthetics Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in June. Here is the short abstract for the talk:
ABSTRACT: In this paper I apply the account Susanna Siegel develops in The Rationality of Perception to aesthetic cases and explore the implication of such an account for rethinking one of the traditional problems in philosophical aesthetics. I contend that one’s prior outlook – expertise, beliefs, desires, fears, preferences – can have aesthetically good and bad influences on perceptual experiences, just as it can have epistemically good and bad influences. Analyzing these bad influences in cases of “hijacked” aesthetic perception will reveal that, unless we realize that our perception of high-level and low-level aesthetically relevant properties is assessable as apt or inapt, we will be at a loss to explain what goes wrong in these cases. I argue that, just as perception can be rational or irrational (“the rationality of perception thesis”), so too can it be apt or inapt (“the aptness of perception thesis”). I explore the merits of the aptness of perception thesis for reconceptualizing aesthetic normativity.