No universal truths to speak of

Scepticism about the merits and even the possibility of a philosophical aesthetics has been the subject of irreconcilable controversies among thinkers. It is by no means self-evident that problems of aesthetics should be an object of philosophy: many philosophers have held that issues relating to art and beauty cannot be the object of philosophical work. The rationalist thinkers simply denied aesthetics a place in their systems of thought, while positivist and neo-positivist thinkers argued that it could not be part of philosophical enquiry.

Although classical Greek philosophers commented about both art and beauty, they didn’t regard these problems as deserving a discipline of their own within philosophy. The classical tripartition of the subject into theoretical philosophy (what is there in the world and how can we know about it), practical philosophy (what should we do) and logic (how should we think) leaves open the question of where, if at all, aesthetics fits in.

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