Questions about Aesthetic Experience

in Projections
Paisley LivingstonLingnan University

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These brief comments raise some questions about Murray Smith’s remarks, in his new volume Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film, on the nature of aesthetic experience. My questions concern how we might best draw a viable distinction between aesthetic and non-aesthetic experiences and focus in particular on possible links between self-awareness and aesthetic experiences. In sum, I agree with Smith in holding that we should not give up on the notion of aesthetic experience, even though aestheticians continue to disagree regarding even the most basic questions pertaining to its nature.

Contributor Notes

Paisley Livingston is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Lingnan University (Hong Kong) and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Uppsala University (Sweden). Email:

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