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Abstract

The notions of perfection and imperfection do not have the same prominent presence they once occupied in earlier aesthetics discourse. However, they still play an important role as criteria for aesthetic judgments today in our everyday life. The wide-spread and easily accepted aesthetic appeal of objects with perfection tends to overshadow the potential aesthetic value of imperfect objects that are considered to be defective or deficient. This not only impoverishes our aesthetic lives but also leads to some serious environmental and social consequences. I first argue for the need to cultivate an aesthetic sensibility to appreciate imperfection in our everyday experience. However, I also argue that such an aesthetic sensibility should not be applied indiscriminately. As newly emerging negative aesthetics indicates, in some cases it is critically important to maintain the negative assessment of imperfection, as it may indicate a need for corrective actions.

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Esthetics Commons

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