Thomas Reid's Expressivist Aesthetics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter treats Reid’s claim that beauty consists in expression of mental excellence. It reconstructs his two major arguments for this claim: an inductive survey of objects actually found beautiful and an argument that only in this way can one satisfy the demands of aesthetic realism, the grounds for which are also discussed. It argues further that Reid’s expressivism (like his realism itself) also attempts to capture the phenomenology of experiences of beauty: as of a value beyond ourselves, which leads us to investigate the object further or to aspire to attain that value ourselves.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value
EditorsRebecca Copenhaver, Todd Buras
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-0198733676
StatePublished - 2015


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