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This compelling book defends realism concerning the aesthetic-in particular, concerning the aesthetic properties of works of art (including works of literature). Morais lucidly argues that art criticism, when referring to aesthetic properties, is referring not ultimately to the critic s subjective reactions, but to genuine properties of the works. With a focus on contemporary discussion conducted in the analytic tradition, as well as on arguments by Hume and Kant, this book characterizes the debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art concerning aesthetic realism, examining attacks on the objectivity of values, the autonomy thesis , and Hume s sentimentalism. Considering and defusing scepticism concerning the significance of the ontological debate about aesthetic realism, Morais discusses two powerful attacks on aesthetic realism before defending the doctrine against them and providing a positive realist account of aesthetic properties.
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