Analytic Aesthetics from Theory to Practice? Reply to Vidmar Jovanović

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Iris Vidmar Jovanović’s (2021) ‘Applied Ethical Criticism of Narrative Art’ has a goal the significance of which can hardly be overestimated, the development of an analytic aesthetic framework for a publicly relevant ethical criticism. She employs public relevance to delineate a critique that is confined to neither the value interaction debate (VID) nor the debate about aesthetic cognitivism (AC), both of which are unique to analytic aesthetics and have little impact beyond the discipline of philosophy, let alone beyond academia. In drawing attention to the relationship between applied ethical criticism on the one hand and the VID and AC on the other, Vidmar Jovanović levels a scathing indictment against the majority of philosophers of art, who are for the most part disinterested in the social and political implications of their theoretical research. In this brief reply, I begin by setting out the practical limitations of analytic aesthetics, endorsing and extending her critique. I then discuss Vidmar Jovanović’s criticism of my own contribution to AC (McGregor 2018). I conclude with her proposed framework, which makes an insightful and urgent appeal for an analytic aesthetics rooted in both interdisciplinary and phenomenological research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalEtica e Politica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2022


  • Aesthetic cognitivism
  • artistic value
  • empirical evidence
  • ethical criticism
  • metaphilosophy


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