Dominic McIver Lopes, Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)

No values figure as pervasively and intimately in our lives as beauty and other aesthetic values. They animate the arts, as well as design, fashion, food, and entertainment. They orient us upon the natural world. And we even find them in the deepest insights of science and mathematics. For centuries, however, philosophers and other thinkers have identified beauty with what brings pleasure. Concerned that aesthetic hedonism has led us to question beauty's significance, Dominic McIver Lopes offers an entirely new theory of beauty in this volume. Beauty engages us in action, in concert with others, in the context of social networks. Lopes's 'network theory' explains the social dimension of aesthetic agency, the tie between beauty and pleasure, the importance of disagreement in matters of taste, and the reality of aesthetic values as denizens of the natural world. The two closing chapters shed light on why aesthetic engagement is so important to quality of life, and why it deserves (and gets) lavish public support. Being for Beauty offers a fresh contribution to aesthetics but also to thinking about metanormativity, the metaphysics of value, and virtue theory.