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The deformity-related conception of ugliness

Paris, Panos 2017. The deformity-related conception of ugliness. British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2) , pp. 139-160. 10.1093/aesthj/ayw090

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Abstract

Ugliness is a neglected topic in contemporary analytic aesthetics. This is regrettable given that this topic is not just genuinely fascinating, but could also illuminate other areas in the field, seeing as ugliness, albeit unexplored, does feature rather prominently in several debates in aesthetics. This paper articulates a ‘deformity-related’ conception of ugliness. Ultimately, I argue that deformity, understood in a certain way, and displeasure, jointly suffice for ugliness. First, I motivate my proposal, by locating a ‘deformity-related’ conception of ugliness in aesthetic tradition, offering examples in support, and rejecting related alternative suggestions. Second, I argue that the proposal boasts considerable merits. Not only does it capture much of what we ordinarily think of as ugly, but it also comprises an objective criterion for ugliness, offers unity and comprehensiveness, and is informative and explanatorily potent. Third, I discuss a number of objections, thereby demonstrating that the proposal withstands reflective scrutiny.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0007-0904
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 September 2019
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 11:05
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/125357

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