Digital Commons@RISD Home > Division of Liberal Arts > Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal Archive) > Vol. 3 (2005)
According to the strongest version of aesthetic functionalism, aesthetic value is completely determined by and therefore reducible to practical function. According to the opposite view, function and aesthetic value are completely independent of each other. Both these views are shown to be untenable, and instead aesthetic dualism is defended. By this, I mean that some aesthetic judgments that can legitimately be made about an object refer to it under descriptions of its practical function, whereas others refer to it, for instance, under descriptions of its physical appearance. Since valuations of the former type are in most cases positively correlated with satisfaction of functional requirements, this amounts to a defense of a radically weakened version of aesthetic functionalism.