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Reading: Acting for Aesthetic Reasons


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Research Article

Acting for Aesthetic Reasons


Maria Alvarez ,

Department of Philosophy, King’s College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS, GB
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Aaron Ridley

Department of Philosophy, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BF, GB
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It seems natural to think that there are aesthetic reasons for action and that an artist must be guided by such reasons as he or she begins work on the canvas or poem or symphony or marble. This latter supposition seems at odds, however, not only with classical inspiration theory but also with the views of one of the last century’s most important philosophers of art, R. G. Collingwood. We propose an account of acting for an aesthetic reason inspired by G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention, specifically by her concept of ‘practical knowledge’, which we believe can accommodate Collingwood’s reservations about the sort of knowledge of their ends, and of the means to those ends, which artists have as they engage in their creative activity.
How to Cite: Alvarez, Maria, and Aaron Ridley. “Acting for Aesthetic Reasons”. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 54, no. 1 (2017): 65–84. DOI:
Published on 01 Mar 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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