Toward an Epistemology of Art (pages 37-64)

Arnold Cusmariu

ABSTRACT: An epistemology of art has seemed problematic mainly because of arguments claiming that an essential element of a theory of knowledge, truth, has no place in aesthetic contexts. For, if it is objectively true that something is beautiful, it seems to follow that the predicate “is beautiful” expresses a property – a view asserted by Plato but denied by Hume and Kant. But then, if the belief that something is beautiful is not objectively true, we cannot be said to know that something is beautiful and the path to an epistemology of art is effectively blocked. The article places the existence aesthetic properties in the proper context; presents a logically correct argument for the existence of such properties; identifies strategies for responding to this argument; explains why objections by Hume, Kant, and several other philosophers fail; and sketches a realization account of beauty influenced by Hogarth.

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