Grounding Moralism: Moral Flaws and Aesthetic Properties

Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (4):34-53 (2011)
My goal in this article is to provide support for the claim that moral flaws can be detrimental to an artwork's aesthetic value. I argue that moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws when they defeat the operation of good-making aesthetic properties. I do not defend a new theory of aesthetic properties or aesthetic value; instead, I attempt to show that on both the response-dependence and the supervenience account of aesthetic properties, moral flaws with an artwork are relevant to what aesthetic properties obtain. I provide a description of the main features of both theories of aesthetic properties, and then explain how moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws on either account. I address several objections to moralism about art including the "moralistic fallacy.".
Keywords art and morality  aesthetic properties
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DOI 10.5406/jaesteduc.45.4.0034
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Aaron Smuts (2010). The Ethics of Humor: Can Your Sense of Humor Be Wrong? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):333-347.

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