The (So-called) Experience of the Genuine


WINDSOR Mark Richard

Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description Many hold that aesthetic appreciation is sensitive to the authenticity or genuineness of an object. Recently, Carolyn Korsmeyer has defended the claim that genuineness itself is an aesthetic property. In this paper, I argue that genuineness is not an aesthetic property. There is no experience of the genuine. First, I consider the cases that motivate Korsmeyer’s claim, namely, objects that afford a sense of being ‘in touch with the past’. I then examine three roles that genuineness can be identified as having in Korsmeyer’s account: (1) as naming a requirement that an object be identified correctly; (2) as naming what makes an object unique; or (3) as naming whatever historical features an object has that make it special. I argue that none of them support the claim that genuineness is an aesthetic property. (1) does not identify a target of appreciation; (2) is neither necessary nor sufficient for so-called experiences of genuineness; and though (3) identifies the right target of experience, it is unrelated to what it means to be genuine in a descriptive sense. I conclude by suggesting a way forward for explaining the cases that motivate Korsmeyer’s account.
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