The Passion of the Critique

Wednesday, 24 May 2023, 16:00-18:00

Senate House, Room 243


I recommend a way of understanding one kind of aesthetic response. There is a way of engaging aesthetically that is structurally just like the way we’re reasoning when we form a belief or set our practical will. The aesthetic has a normative dimension, and an associated variety of objectivity, that is compatible with the open texture of aesthetic excellence and that preserves the distinctive character of aesthetic appreciation. The nature of this important sort of aesthetic appreciation differs intrinsically from that of other varieties of judgment, but it is also a kind of judgment and accordingly exhibits deep analogies with those other sorts of judgment. One upshot is that the sort of aesthetic response that grounds the relevant sort of normativity gives no special place to delight or disgust or to other feelings or passions.


Following NHS guidance, all attendees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated (including boosters) against Covid-19, unless medically exempt. Face coverings are still encouraged, especially in classrooms. Our group is diverse; please continue to be considerate of those who wear face coverings and those who don’t. Thank you.