On TUESDAY, 2/23 at 3:30 in 14 Glebe, Hanne Appelqvist (University of Helsinki) will lead a discussion about her attached paper, "The Quest for a Common Standard: Wittgenstein and Kant on the Rules of Art.” Here’s what she says about her paper: 'What is the point of talking about the arts and aesthetics in terms of rules? Isn't art the playground for us adults where freedom is the name of the game and the notion of a mistake doesn't have a ready application? Isn't aesthetics first and foremost a matter of exercising our ability to respond to beautiful things by spontaneous feelings of approbation –feelings that are not responsible to a standard, law, or rule prescribed by some external authority? What could be a possible motivation for bringing rules into this picture? In this paper, I will argue for what, in my view, is the strongest case for incorporating rules into our account of aesthetics. I will address a tension between the two seemingly contradictory claims about rules in art and aesthetics, namely, the “objectivist” claim evoking aesthetic norms or rules and the “subjectivist” claim about a personal response as a sine qua non of aesthetic judgment. I will do so by discussing Kant’s and Wittgenstein’s respective accounts, trying to tease out their motivations for endorsing the two seemingly contradictory commitments. Ultimately, my goal is to defend a view of aesthetic judgment that combines both the objective and the subjective poles of the judgment. These two poles may be seen as parallel to the conditions for the possibility of art having communicable content on the one hand and for leaving room for artistic freedom on the other.’
(Side note: This continues a theme familiar to some of you in AWG on disobedience in art. Appelqvist thinks some recent contributors on the topic might be getting carried away with their focus on rule breaking and may need to pay more attention to what it is to be governed by rules in the first place.)
Looking forward to a good discussion!