A norm of aesthetic assertion and its semantic (in)significance

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The paper proposes that the distinctive features of aesthetic assertion are due to a special norm governing such assertion rather than any semantic features of aesthetic predication. The norm is elaborated as a (more or less faithful) reading of Kant’s analysis of aesthetic judgment. Apart from the proposed norm capturing various features of aesthetic assertion, it is supported by various linguistic considerations that point to the semantic profile of predicates of personal taste and aesthetic predicates being in fact alike with respect to the role of a judge or experiencer in the interpretation of the respective kinds of assertions. The difference between the two, therefore, must have a different source than the understood role of an agent, viz. the advertised norm. In particular, it is argued that the role of an explicit agent in both predicates acts to signal a presupposition of another agent having a different experience or judgment from the speaker rather than an articulation of the content of the predicate itself or a determination of its truth value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-1003
Number of pages31
Issue number10
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Aesthetic assertion
  • Kant
  • norm of assertion
  • predicates of personal taste

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