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The Logical Structure of Aesthetic Value Judgements. An Outline of a Popperian Aesthetics / המבנה הלוגי של שיפוטים אסתטיים: קווי מתאר לאסתטיקה פופריאנית

תומס קולקה and Tomas Kulka
Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly / עיון: רבעון פילוסופי
כרך ל"ח‎, חוברת ב‎ (ניסן תשמ"ט), pp. 87-102
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23350262
Page Count: 16
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The Logical Structure of Aesthetic Value Judgements. An Outline of a Popperian Aesthetics / המבנה הלוגי של שיפוטים אסתטיים: קווי מתאר לאסתטיקה פופריאנית
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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to suggest an outline of Popperian aesthetics. I try to show that the main ideas of Popper's philosophy of science can be adapted to the philosophy of art. I suggest in section I that the principle of falsifiability, which plays a central role in Popper's philosophy of science, can be applied to aesthetics. The relation between a hypothesis and 'basic statements' which serve as a base for Popperian testing is shown (in section II) to have its aesthetic analogue, suggesting that aesthetic value judgements are, in a certain sense, testable. In section III, the asymetry between the verification and falsification of scientific hypotheses is shown to be analogous to the asymetry between the justification of positive and negative aesthetic value judgements. It is also suggested that good works of art are more 'falsifiable' than bad ones, in the sense that the former are easier to spoil and more difficult to improve than the latter. This intuition is (in section IV) developed into a quantitative model of aesthetic evaluation. Popper's conception of corroboration is applied to the model in order to show that it may also have practical implications for art criticism. This model (which is presented in a schematic form of an algebraic formula) should be seen as a rational reconstruction of aesthetic value judgements which is intended to lay bare their basic logical structure. The three components of the proposed formula is interpreted as suggestions for explication of the classical concepts of unity, complexity and intensity — concepts that have hitherto been understood only on a purely intuitive level as primitive concepts. The internal structure of these concepts becomes thereby transparent.

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