Abstract

My primary aim in this paper is to outline a quasi-realist theory of aesthetic judgement. Robert Hopkins has recently argued against the plausibility of this project because he claims that quasi-realism cannot explain a central component of any expressivist understanding of aesthetic judgements, namely their supposed ‘autonomy’. I argue against Hopkins's claims by contending that Roger Scruton's aesthetic attitude theory, centred on his account of the imagination, provides us with the means to develop a plausible quasi-realist account of aesthetic judgement. Finally, I respond to two recent attempts to discredit the validity of the notion of aesthetic autonomy. I claim that both fail adequately to address the underlying non-realist motivations and justifications for maintaining the principle.

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