Aesthetic Judgements and Motivation

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Are aesthetic judgements cognitive, belief-like states or non-cognitive, desire-like states? There have been a number of attempts in recent years to evaluate the plausibility of a non-cognitivist theory of aesthetic judgements. These attempts borrow heavily from Non-cognitivism in metaethics. One argument that is used to support metaethical Non-cognitivism is the argument from Motivational Judgement Internalism. It is claimed that accepting this view, together with a plausible theory of motivation, pushes us towards accepting Non-cognitivism. A tempting option, then, for those wishing to defend Aesthetic Non-cognitivism, would be to appeal to a similar argument. However, both Caj Strandberg and Walter Sinnott-Armstong have argued that Internalism is a less plausible claim to make about aesthetic judgements than about moral judgements by raising objections against Aesthetic Internalism. In this paper I will argue that both of these objections can be raised against Internalism about moral judgements as well. As a result, Internalism is no less plausible a claim to make about aesthetic judgements than about moral judgements. I will then show how a theory of Internalism about normative judgements in general is capable of avoiding both of these objections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-674
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Aesthetics
  • motivational judgement internalism
  • metaethics
  • Aesthetic judgement


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