Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value

ISBN : 9780192855725

Dominic McIver Lopes
288 ページ
155 x 244 mm

No values figure as pervasively and intimately in our lives as beauty and other aesthetic values. They animate the arts, as well as design, fashion, food, and entertainment. They orient us upon the natural world. And we even find them in the deepest insights of science and mathematics. For centuries, however, philosophers and other thinkers have identified beauty with what brings pleasure. Concerned that aesthetic hedonism has led us to question beauty's significance, Dominic McIver Lopes offers an entirely new theory of beauty in this volume. Beauty engages us in action, in concert with others, in the context of social networks. Lopes's 'network theory' explains the social dimension of aesthetic agency, the tie between beauty and pleasure, the importance of disagreement in matters of taste, and the reality of aesthetic values as denizens of the natural world. The two closing chapters shed light on why aesthetic engagement is so important to quality of life, and why it deserves (and gets) lavish public support. Being for Beauty offers a fresh contribution to aesthetics but also to thinking about metanormativity, the metaphysics of value, and virtue theory.


Part I
1 Beings for Beauty
2 Getting Practical
Part II
3 To Seize upon the Applause of the Heart
4 Six Degrees of Separation
Part III
5 Strength and Warranties of Skill
6 Infrastructures of Aesthetic Agency
7 Hundred Mile Aesthetics
Part IV
8 By Happy Alchemy of Mind
9 Endless to Dispute
10 Beauty, Naturally
Part V
11 Getting Personal
12 Building Better Aesthetic Agents


Dominic McIver Lopes FRSC is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia and author of six books and a series of papers that examine the meaning and values of images, technology in the arts, and the nature of art and the arts. His current work looks beyond the arts to understand the human importance of our aesthetic practices.