Aesthetic Values Before and Beyond the Evaluation of Artworks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Thinking about aesthetic values, as often happens when we think about aesthetic concepts, properties or experiences, gives us the opportunity to question the term aesthetic that progressively entered philosophical discourse during the eighteenth century. What makes it difficult to answer, though, is the fact that its meaning has oscillated over time and generated various misconceptions and ambiguities. Aesthetic value and artistic value could, according to some, be equivalent, since the value of artworks could lie in their ability to produce aesthetic experiences, and symmetrically, for others the aesthetic qualities of an experience of a non-artistic object could derive from the fact that we look at it as if it were an artwork. One of the main purposes of this chapter is precisely to determine the meaning and scope of the expression ‘aesthetic value’, to argue that aesthetic and artistic values are not exactly the same even though the artistic value of an artwork may result in part from its aesthetic value. Moreover, other types of values such as cognitive, ethical, political and social shall every so often be taken into account in the evaluation of artworks. So, one of the consequences of that distinction – between the aesthetic and the artistic – is the fact that the range of consideration of aesthetic values goes way beyond and before the evaluation of artworks insofar as aesthetic experience is not an exclusive business of the artistic domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEssays on Values and Practical Rationality
Subtitle of host publicationEthical and Aesthetical Dimensions
EditorsAntónio Marques, João Sàágua
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-0343-3153-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-0343-3058-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aesthetic Values
  • Everyday Aesthetics
  • Aesthetic vs. Artistic
  • Evaluation of Artworks


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