Object-Oriented Aesthetics: The Legacy of Plato in the Philosophy of Art


  • Eugenio Benitez


Aristotle thought that artistic excellence lay entirely in the objects of art. In this he was merely stating plainly the view already maintained by his predecessor, Plato. Plato himself was not so conservative, however. The conception of artistic excellence that preceded him was dynamic, but through persistent effort and argument Plato brought about a change of focus in aesthetics that has persisted down to the present day. I shall call the focus that Plato brought to art "object-oriented aesthetics" and describe it as follows: an aesthetics is object-oriented just in case it locates artistic excellence entirely in art objects, their objective properties or their objective relations. Plato's object-oriented aesthetics is a special case: it locates artistic excellence entirely in beauty, which is seen as an objective property instantiated in art objects.

Author Biography

Eugenio Benitez