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Li Zehou and Moritz Schlick on the Roots of Beauty

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Beginning from the Enlightenment view that beauty or art is “useless,” the attempts to explain how aesthetic experience and judgment are possible presented by Moritz Schlick and Li Zehou are examined, compared and contrasted. The paper treats three main subjects, the anthropological origins of beauty, the origins of aesthetic judgments and the problem of the purpose or function of beauty or aesthetic experience. In the first—the historical-causal roots of beauty—the problem discussed is how to account for aesthetics in light of the practical needs and pursuits of human beings. For Schlick, the problem is couched in terms of how aesthetic experience can be made consistent with natural selection. The second main subject—the philosophical roots of beauty—is a discussion of the origin in the sense of justification of aesthetic judgments. And the third examines the problem of assigning some purpose to aesthetic feelings and attitudes. An apparent contrast is made, and perhaps resolved, between the respective views of Schlick and Li.

10.3868/s030-003-014-0049-0
/content/journals/10.3868/s030-003-014-0049-0
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/content/journals/10.3868/s030-003-014-0049-0
2014-12-20
2018-09-21

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