Panos Paris (York): Functional Beauty: A Revised Proposal

Panos Paris (York): Functional Beauty: A Revised Proposal

16th May 2019 - 4:15 pm,


Abstract

I offer a set of sufficient conditions for beauty, drawing on Parsons and Carlson’s account of ‘functional beauty’. First, I argue that Parsons and Carlson’s account falls short of adequately delivering on its promise of bringing comprehensiveness and unity to aesthetics, whilst facing a range of counterexamples. Instead, I propose, the account should be modified so as to state that if an object is well-formed for its function(s) and pleases competent judges insofar as it is thus experienced, then it is beautiful. I argue that this version of functional beauty offers greater informativeness, comprehensiveness and unity––accounting for, inter alia, talk of mathematical, literary, and moral beauty. Before concluding, I address a number of objections by way of demonstrating that my proposal survives reflective scrutiny.


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