How Not to Defend Response Moralism

Journal of Aesthetic Education 49 (4):19-38 (2015)
The bulk of the literature on the relationship between art and morality is principally concerned with an aesthetic question: Do moral flaws with works of art constitute aesthetic flaws?1 Much less attention has been paid to the ways in which artworks can be morally flawed. There are at least three promising contenders that concern aesthetic education: Artworks can be morally flawed by endorsing immorality, corrupting audiences, and encouraging responses that are bad to have. When it comes to works of fiction, the third suggestion requires what Allan Hazlett calls response moralism—the position that audience reactions to artworks can be morally bad.2 Here, I will put aside issues of aesthetic..
Keywords Art and morality  moralism  response moralism  aesthetics and ethics
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