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Abstract

Apparently snobbery undermines justification for and legitimacy of aesthetic claims. It is also pervasive in the aesthetic realm, much more so than we tend to presume. If these two claims are combined, a fundamental problem arises: we do not know whether or not we are justified in believing or making aesthetic claims. Addressing this new challenge requires an epistemological story which underpins when, where and why snobbish judgement is problematic, and how appreciative claims can survive. This leads towards a virtue-theoretic account of art appreciation and aesthetic justification, as contrasted with a purely reliabilist one – a new direction for contemporary aesthetics.