Ethics, Aesthetics, and the Color Analogy

Wednesday, 19 May 2021, 17:00-19:00 BST

Online session


The color analogy casts value properties as secondary qualities of some kind. This paper looks at how tight the analogy with color and value is and what obstacles a response-dependence theory of aesthetic value faces. Though response-dependence may seem far more plausible in aesthetics than in ethics, many of the canonical problems for such a view in ethics extend straightforwardly to aesthetics. I go on to highlight two classes of aesthetic value properties that make response-dependence less plausible in aesthetics than in ethics. Showing this requires thinking a bit more carefully about different varieties of response-dependence. I close by suggesting how defenders of response-dependence might hang onto their view.