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If we assert that aesthetic experience has no definable cognitive component what makes it an important subject of philosophical interest?

Presumably it's only the philosophical interest which leads to the conclusion that it has no cognitive component in the first place ... Or rather, it's a matter of philosophical debate whether it does ... But if you are suggesting (as you seem to) that once a philosopher decides that aesthetic experience is non-cognitive there are no further philosophical issues, then I'll leave it to those specializing in aesthetics to provide an answer ... (At the least a non-specialist such as myself would wonder: if aesthetic experience is non-cognitive then how does it relate to other (sensory) experiences? what marks off an experience as aesthetic then? what is the nature/relationship of the different sensory modalities? the relationship between sensory experience and pleasure etc...?) hope that's a useful start. ap

When two people share an experience of something but reach difference aesthetic judgements about the experience, are they experiencing the thing in question differently? Or are they reacting differently to exactly the same experience, and if so, what does that entail? For example, I grew up in Canada and have always liked peanut butter, but I now live in Germany, where few people seem to even know what peanut butter is, and nobody actually likes it. My girlfriend has tried it, but doesn't like it at all. I find it hard to believe that she can eat peanut butter and experience the same delicious taste I am experiencing, and yet not enjoy it. It seems more plausible to me that peanut butter tastes different to her than it does to me, for whatever reason (and obviously, neither of us experience the "correct" taste, just different ones), and that this accounts for her not liking it. Yet on the other hand, the chemicals in the food are the same for both of us, so how can the taste be so different? So...

This is a terrific question! But rather than answer it, let me direct you to someone who has treated it at some length with many interesting and provocative things to say. Check out Daniel Dennett's famous article "Quining Qualia," as well as his book "Consciousness Explained" -- you'll get some great material there, and then will probably come back and ask follow up versions of this question! good luck, ap