Użyteczność, piękno, wartość – estetyka Adama Smitha

Anna Markwart


An outline of Adam Smith’s views concerning the issue of beauty was presented. The goal of the paper was to draw attention to the rarely discussed, in particular on Polish ground, this area of philosophy of the author of Theory of Moral Sentiments. Also an attempt to list the factors that play an important role in formulating the aesthetic judgment was undertaken. The issue of imitation and its degree of relativity to particular types of pieces of art (the philosopher stressed that it is impossible to put the same measure when it comes to different means of artistic expression, each of the arts has its own rules) and the social conditionings, such as fashion, custom, utility or market value of the work (which also suggests the possibility of the variability of aesthetic judgment over time, when fashion changes as well as the availability of materials) were contrasted. It was shown that they are all intertwined in the Smith’s theory, not allowing to draw a clear distinction that would define to what extent the beauty of the piece of art is the result of the artist’s talent who was imitating reality in a manner appropriate for the type of art and from which point it becomes a matter of market value or utility of the object, or the desire to follow the current fashion.

Słowa kluczowe

Adam Smith; aesthetics; imitation; utility; value; fashion; beauty

Pełny tekst:



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