In Defense of Forsey’s Aesthetics of Design

Avant, Vol. XII, No. 1,
published under license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Monika Favara-Kurkowski orcid-id
University of Warsaw, Poland

Received 31 January 2020; accepted 15 December 2020; published 13 January 2021.
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Abstract: In philosophical aesthetics, discussions on design objects place the notion of Functional Beauty at the fore. Such a philosophical approach can be found in Jane Forsey’s book The Aesthetics of Design that focuses on the notion of function to promote the aesthetic value of design and develops an interpretation of Kantian Dependent Beauty around it. Lucía Jiménez Sánchez has recently put forward several flaws of Functional Beauty accounts. She presented several practical cases as evidence for the narrowness of Functional Beauty accounts. Two cases are presented against Jane Forsey’s theory of Dependent Beauty, holding that it excludes other properties from appreciation that are not necessarily related to functionality, i.e., expressive properties. The purpose of this article is to show that these criticisms leveled at Jane Forsey’s proposal for an aesthetic theory of design are unfounded and are based on a misunderstanding of the structure of judgments of beauty in her system. Despite this, these criticisms highlight the need to clarify the purpose of the aesthetics of design.

Keywords: design; aesthetics; function; beauty; aesthetic appreciation


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