London Aesthetics Forum

London Aesthetics Forum
17 October 2018, 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Gordon Room, G34, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


Edith Landmann-Kalischer on Aesthetic Demarcation and Normativity.


Samantha Matherne (Harvard)



Two perennial questions in aesthetics, among others, are the demarcation question, viz., what, if anything distinguishes the aesthetic domain from the cognitive or moral domains, and the normative question, viz., what is the source of aesthetic normativity.  Although recent attempts to answer these questions can be found in contemporary literature, in this paper, I examine the answers defended by the early phenomenologist, Edith Landmann-Kalischer.  Unlike many contemporary theorists who insists on the sharp demarcation of aesthetic from cognitive judgments, I show that Landmann-Kalischer treats aesthetic judgments as significantly similar to a kind of cognitive judgment, viz., those involved in perception.  Meanwhile, with respect to the normative question, I claim that, in contrast to the now-dominant view that traces aesthetic normativity back to pleasure, Landmann-Kalischer locates the source of aesthetic normativity in the cognitive import of aesthetic judgments.  I argue that this blend of cognitivism regarding the aesthetic domain and anti-hedonism about aesthetic value merits further attention in current debates about aesthetic demarcation and normativity. 


The London Aesthetics Forum (LAF) is a Forum of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. With lectures on topics in aesthetics and philosophy of art, LAF aims to stimulate philosophical reflection on art. Our events are free and open to all.

View our programme of events, sign up for the newsletter, or browse our archives and podcasts.

Now available, episodes of Aesthetics Bites, a collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites (made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics).

We are generously sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics

bsa_logo_hrz_bw_high (in white box)




Institute of Philsophy
020 7664 4865