Nelson Goodman, in his Languages of Art, asks us to consider Rembrandt's Lucretia and a forgery of it.
An aesthetic empiricist accepts that necessarily if two paintings are perceptual indistinguishable, then they are aesthetically indistinguishable.* Thus, if it is possible for an original such as Lucretia to be perceptually indistinguishable from a forgery, then they could not different aesthetically. We can put these ideas into the following argument:
- Necessarily if two paintings are perceptual indistinguishable, then they are aesthetically indistinguishable.
- An original Lucretia and a perfect forgery are perceptually indistinguishable.
- Therefore, an original Lucretia and a perfect forgery are aesthetically indistinguishable.
Questions: (a) Do you accept the conclusion is true on the basis of (1) and (2)? (b) If not, then do you reject (1) or (2) and why?
*Formalists like Clive Bell and Clement Greenberg are thought of as aesthetic empiricists.