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← Beholding beauty: How it's been studied

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Cook@Tahiti

CEVA34: Dawkins talks about epistemological relativism, not aesthetic relativism.

By what objective criteria can you say artwork A is BETTER than artwork B? Or that your enjoyment of artwork A is 'superior' than someone else who makes the same claim for their favourite artwork? People who dance in a club to Kylie may have more measurable dopamine/neurological activity than some octogenarian season ticket holder nodding off in the opera.

Once you narrow the criteria and say that artwork A 'is more complex than' artwork B, or 'contains more ideas' or 'is more popular than' or 'is more valuable than', 'or had lasted longer through time' or 'has more citations' etc, then, yes, you can make comparisons. But these will be arbitrary criteria and there'll always be too many exceptions to any hard-and-fast rules you can impose on aesthetics in art. But you can't simply declare say A is better than B, therefore people who like A have taste, and people who like B have no taste.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 09:56:45 UTC | #924004