C.I. Lewis and the outlines of aesthetic experience

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The current essay describes aspects of C. I. Lewis’s rarely cited contributions to aesthetics, focusing primarily on the conception of aesthetic experience developed in An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation . Lewis characterized aesthetic value as a proper subset of inherent value, which he understood as the power to occasion intrinsically valued experiences. He distinguished aesthetic experiences from experiences more generally in terms of eight conditions. Roughly, he proposed that aesthetic experiences have a highly positive, preponderantly intrinsic value realized through contemplation, where the experience is indicative of the object’s reliable and characteristic inherent value. Objections to this account motivate a revised, neo-Lewisian proposal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-392
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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