Nicholas Wiltsher: "The Organisation of Aesthetic Communities"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Zoom (contact Irene Martinez Marin for link)
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Irene Martinez Marin
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Nicholas Wiltsher, Uppsala University: "The Organisation of Aesthetic Communities"

An aesthetic community is a group of people engaged in coordinated practices oriented towards aesthetic value: Marvel fans, classical music connoisseurs, Instagram aestheticians. Recent work on aesthetic communities aims at articulating a "communitarian" account of the aesthetic domain, opposing an "individualistic" alternative. For example, the communitarian account says that aesthetic value owes to social engagement, rather than individuals' engagements with aesthetic objects.  I argue that the emerging communitarian account is actually still pretty individualistic. This, I suggest, shows that proper analysis of aesthetic communities requires analysis of relations of power within them. I further suggest that focus on such relations allows us to see the theoretical options more clearly than an approach using only a distinction between communities and individuals.