ASA Meeting: When the Beauty Crosses the Path of the Behest: Investigating the Intersection of Legal and Aesthetic Judgment

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American Society for Aesthetics (ASA), Pacific Meeting, Asilomar, Califorinia, April, 4-7, 2017.

Panel: When the Beauty Crosses the Path of the Behest: Investigating the Intersection of Legal and Aesthetic Judgment

Under the auspicious of the journal Brill Research Perspectives in Art and Law.

Organizers: Angela Condello (University of Roma Tre), Andrea Baldini (Art Institute of Nanjing University).

Panelists: Gianmaria Ajani (Unversity of Turin), Tiziana Andina (University of Turin), Andrea Baldini (Art Institute of Nanjing University), Angela Condello (University of Roma Tre), Maurizio Ferraris (University of Turin).

Abstract: With the growing expansion of a global art market, which achieved its high of $68.2 billion in 2014, the intersection between aesthetics and the law is becoming a larger and more pressing issue. Whereas in the past censorship has been the main battlefield where aesthetics and legal judgments have met, today the points of intersections have increased: concerns of publicity and privacy rights, intellectual property, taxes, authenticity and title, museum law, trade, and historic preservation are just a few of those questions at the crossroad of aesthetics and the law.

Within legal studies, a good deal of scholarship has specifically addressed the similarities and connections between aesthetic and legal judgments. In general, when considering this trend of research, we can individuate two main concerns among scholars. First, some such as Douzinas, McVeigh, and Warrington (1992); Edlin (2010); and Meyer (1999) have explored what one might call the structural similarity of legal and aesthetic judgment, that is, their being alike in terms of the criteria, principles, and procedures that one follows in generating and warranting either one of them. Second, others such as Craig (2014); Robert Gorman (2001); and Walker and Depoorter (2015) have discussed the legal import of aesthetic considerations, that is, whether and eventually how aesthetic judgments should inform legal determinations.

Surprisingly, few philosophers of art have discussed similar topics from their disciplinary point of view. This panel has a twofold aim. First, it intends to promote among aestheticians a more robust and sustained discussions of the relationship between aesthetic and legal judgment. It reasonable to expect that philosophers’ contributions on this matter would help a great deal in clarifying similarities and differences in judging the legal and the aesthetic. Second, this panel wants to bridge disciplinary gasp by fostering interdisciplinary exchange with legal scholars. This is turn may very well inform actual legal practices, thus speaking of aesthetics impact outside academia and on our societal lives.