One of the oldest platitudes about beauty is that it is pleasant to perceive or experience. In this article, I take this platitude at face value and try to explain why experiences of beauty are seemingly always accompanied by pleasure. Unlike explanations that have been offered in the past, the explanation proposed is designed to suit a “realist” view on which beauty is an irreducibly evaluative property, that is, a value. In a nutshell, the explanation is that experiences of beauty are experiences in which it appears that something is beautiful, and that such experiences are identical to experiences of aesthetic pleasure.
Thanks to two referees for this journal, as well as to Arnold Burms, Leon Horsten, Paisley Livingston, Mikael Pettersson, Nick Zangwill, Jiji Zhang, and participants in the LU-SYSU Philosophical Forum (Lingnan University,November 28, 2015) for helpful comments, discussion, and encouragement.