About this topic
Summary

Broadly construed, Aesthetics and Ethics concerns the relationship between art and morality. Here we ask: Can artworks provide moral knowledge? Can artworks corrupt and instruct morally?  More narrowly construed, the category concerns the relationship between aesthetic and moral value. The chief question is this: Do moral flaws with works of art constitute aesthetics flaws? In addition, we can ask if aesthetic value is morally significant. This last issue has important implications for environmental ethics.

Key works The most important collection on the topic is Levinson 1998. The majority of the work on the topic is in essay form, but there are a few influential books. Gaut 2007 is an important, recent monograph. 
Introductions Although a bit out of date, Carroll 2000 provides an excellent overview of the area.  Gaut 2001 is also an excellent introduction.
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367 found
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1 — 50 / 367
  1. added 2020-05-19
    The Diversity of Intrinsic Ethical Flaws in Fiction.Adriana Clavel‐vázquez - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (2):143-156.
    This article examines what constitutes an ethical flaw in artworks and asks which ethical flaws are relevant in determining works. ethical and aesthetic values. I argue that while most of the discussion has simply taken for granted that it is intrinsic ethical flaws that should be taken into account, there are further important differences in the type of intrinsic ethical flaws that artworks display. I identify two different types of ethical defects in artworks, fictional and actual, and argue that this (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-09
    The Allure of the Serial Killer.Eric Dietrich & Tara Fox Hall - 2010 - In Sara Waller (ed.), Serial Killers and Philosophy. John Wiley.
    What is it about serial killers that grips our imaginations? They populate some of our most important literature and art, and to this day, Jack the Ripper intrigues us. In this paper, we examine this phenomenon, exploring the idea that serial killers in part represent something in us that, if not good, is at least admirable. To get at this, we have to peel off layers of other causes of our attraction, for our attraction to serial killing is complex (it (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-07
    Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating. [REVIEW]Srajana Kaikini - 2018 - Ethical Perspectives 25:571-575.
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  4. added 2020-04-20
    Formative Fictions: Imaginative Literature and the Training of the Capacities.Joshua Landy - 2012 - Poetics Today 2 (33):167-214.
    While it is often assumed that fictions must be informative or morally improving in order to be of any real benefit to us, certain texts defy this assumption by functioning as training grounds for the capacities: in engaging with them, we stand to become not more knowledgeable or more virtuous but more skilled, whether at rational thinking, at maintaining necessary illusions, at achieving tranquility of mind, or even at religious faith. Instead of offering us propositional knowledge, these texts yield know-how; (...)
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  5. added 2020-04-20
    Philosophy to the Rescue. [REVIEW]Joshua Landy - 2007 - Philosophy and Literature 31 (2):405-419.
    Review of Mark William Roche, Why Literature Matters in the Twenty-First Century, and Frank B. Farrell, Why Does Literature Matter?
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  6. added 2020-04-16
    Apt Imaginings: Feelings for Fictions and Other Creatures of the Mind.Jonathan Gilmore - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    How do our engagements with fictions and other products of the imagination compare to our experiences of the real world? Are the feelings we have about a novel's characters modelled on our thoughts about actual people? If it is wrong to feel pleasure over certain situations in real life, can it nonetheless be right to take pleasure in analogous scenarios represented in a fantasy or film? Should the desires we have for what goes on in a make-believe story cohere with (...)
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  7. added 2020-04-02
    美感奥妙和需求进化(Mystery of Beauty Sense and Evolution of Needs).Chenguang Lu - 2007 - Hefei: China Science and Technology University Press.
    It proposes the Need Aesthetics. It uses the needing relationship to explain Human and birds' evolution of beauty sense, bird's colorful plumage and sexual selection.
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  8. added 2020-03-18
    Pure Joke: An Introduction.Katrin Trüstedt & Christian Kirchmeier - 2019 - Brecht Yearbook 44:81–84.
    This special section on comedy since Brecht argues that the rise of performativity and theatricality that we have experienced over the past century was largely enabled by a comic dispositif. This comic dispositif - forged beyond the illusionistic dramatical and cultural forms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - has greatly shaped the performative strategies of modern theater.
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  9. added 2020-03-18
    Ethics and Politics in the Postmodern Condition.Tommaso Valentini - 2019 - FormaMente. International Research Journal on Digital Future 14 (2):37-54.
    In this paper I analyze the postmodern condition with particular reference to the ethical and political spheres. Postmodernism attempts a radical break with all of the major strands of post-Enlightenment thought. For postmodernists as the French Jean-François Lyotard and the Italian Gianni Vattimo, the orthodox Enlightenment “meta-narrative” of progress and the “speculative” narrative of Hegel and Marx have lost their explanatory force. In particular, Lyotard speaks about five large meta-narratives of Western culture: 1) Christianity (understood also in the secularized form (...)
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  10. added 2020-03-18
    Alienation and Affirmation: The Comedy of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmaschine.Katrin Trüstedt - 2019 - Brecht Yearbook 44:102-121.
    Against the tendency to regard Müller as a tragedian and his Hamletmaschine as a tragedy, I will read his play as an experiment on the possibility of comedic theater after Brecht. Hamletmaschine can thus be understood as an attempt to affirm the possibilities of theater and its own forms of estrangement without abstracting from tragedy, alienation, and negativity. The play contains three such models internally connecting alienation and affirmation: while “Hamlet” in his commitment to the negativity of a lost tragedy (...)
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  11. added 2020-03-17
    Narrative Justice.Rafe McGregor - 2018 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    This important new book provides an original and compelling argument for a new theory of aesthetic education. Rafe McGregor proposes a model of interdisciplinary inquiry, applying a combined philosophical and critical approach to illuminate issues in a social science. The book makes an original contribution to the field of narrative criminology.
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  12. added 2020-03-12
    Virtual Competitions and the Gamer's Dilemma.Karim Nader - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology 1.
    This paper expands Rami Ali’s dissolution of the gamer’s dilemma (Ethics Inf Technol 17:267-274, 2015). Morgan Luck’s gamer’s dilemma (Ethics Inf Technol 11(1):31-36, 2009) rests on our having diverging intuition when considering virtual murder and virtual child molestation in video games. Virtual murder is seemingly permissible, when virtual child molestation is not and there is no obvious morally relevant difference between the two. Ali argues that virtual murder and virtual child molestation are equally permissible/impermissible when considered under different modes of (...)
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  13. added 2020-02-11
    Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection.Jenefer Robinson - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):687-693.
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  14. added 2020-02-11
    Merit, Aesthetic and Ethical.Derek Matravers - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):396-399.
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  15. added 2020-01-12
    Fatal Prescription.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (2):151-163.
    Ethicism is the most comprehensively defended answer to the question regarding whether ethical properties determine aesthetic properties in artworks. According to ethicism, aesthetically relevant ethical flaws in artworks count as aesthetic flaws and aesthetically relevant ethical merits count as aesthetic merits. In this paper, I argue that ethicism’s most significant argument, the Merited Response Argument suffers from an ambiguity that makes it either unsound or uninteresting. Specifically, the notion of an artwork’s ‘prescribing’ a response, central to MRA, is ambiguous between (...)
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  16. added 2019-12-14
    Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy: Killing Time.Christopher Bartel - forthcoming - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Is it ever morally wrong to enjoy fantasizing about immoral things? Many video games allow players to commit numerous violent and immoral acts. But, should players worry about the morality of their virtual actions? A common argument is that games offer merely the virtual representation of violence. No one is actually harmed by committing a violent act in a game. So, it cannot be morally wrong to perform such acts. While this is an intuitive argument, it does not resolve the (...)
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  17. added 2019-11-28
    Art, Morality and Human Nature: Writings. [REVIEW]Panos Paris - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):105-109.
    Art, Morality and Human Nature: Writings by BeardsmoreRichard W.HaldaneJohn and LloydIeuan imprint academic. 2017. pp. 340. £19.95.
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  18. added 2019-11-28
    Die Kunst der Zweiten Natur Und Die Andere Natur der Kunst.Thomas Khurana - 2018 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 66 (3):339-361.
    This contribution traces an aesthetic shift in the concept of second nature that occurs around 1800 and raises the question as to what role art might play in a culture that already conceives of itself in generally aesthetic terms. The paper recalls Kant’s rejection of habit as a proper realization of ethical life and shows that in his third critique, Kant proposes a second nature of a different kind. To realize ethical life as a “second nature”, we cannot confine ourselves (...)
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  19. added 2019-11-25
    Schwerpunkt: Die Ästhetik der Zweiten Natur.Thomas Khurana - 2018 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 66 (3):321-324.
    Die praktische Philosophie der Gegenwart hat in vielfacher Weise Gebrauch von dem Gedanken gemacht, dass unsere sittliche Konstitution uns zur „zweiten Natur“ wird. Diesem Gedanken kann eine therapeutische, eine affirmative und eine kritische Wendung gegeben werden: In der therapeutischen Verwendung soll uns die Erinnerung, dass praktische Vernunft uns zur zweiten Natur werden kann, helfen, einen Dualismus von Geist und Natur zu überwinden, ohne uns auf einen reduktiven Naturalismus festzulegen. In der affirmativen Wendung soll der Begriff der zweiten Natur die Exzellenzform (...)
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  20. added 2019-11-03
    Why So Serious: On Philosophy and Comedy.Russell Ford (ed.) - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    The Western philosophical tradition has shown a marked and perennial fondness for tragedy. From Plato and Aristotle, through the development of Christianity, to German idealism, and even to contemporary reflections on the murderous violence of the twentieth century, philosophy has repeatedly looked to tragedy for resources to make suffering, grief, and death thinkable. But what if by showing such a preference for tragedy, philosophical thought has unwittingly and unknowingly aligned itself with a form of thinking that accepts human suffering and (...)
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  21. added 2019-10-07
    Art for Goodness Sake.Miguel Benitez - 2019 - The Chesterton Review 45 (1):123-127.
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  22. added 2019-09-25
    Is Bill Cosby Still Funny? On Separating the Art From the Artist in Standup Comedy.Phillip Deen - 2019 - Studies in American Humor 5 (2):288-308.
    Bill Cosby’s immorality has raised intriguing aesthetic and ethical issues. Do the crimes that he has been convicted of lessen the aesthetic value of his stand-up and, even if we can enjoy it, should we? This article first discusses the intimate relationship between the comedian and audience. The art form itself is structurally intimate, and at the same time the comedian claims to express an authentic self on stage. After drawing an analogy between the question of the moral character of (...)
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  23. added 2019-09-23
    Simone Weil, Venice Saved.Silvia Panizza & Philip Wilson - 2019 - London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    The French philosopher Simone Weil worked on (but did not finish) Venice Saved, a tragedy about the conspiracy to overthrow the Republic of Venice in 1618. It has been largely ignored and has never been published in an English translation. Interest in Weil’s work has increased massively since her death and continues to grow, so that publishing this play in English will enable readers to expand their view of a writer whose work is in fragments. We have also translated the (...)
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  24. added 2019-09-22
    Etika ako estetika existencie v prieniku súčasnej kultúry a filozofie.Lukáš Švihura - 2017 - In Oľga Sisáková (ed.), Umenie života vo filozofickej reflexii. Prešov, Slovensko: pp. 57-78.
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  25. added 2019-09-22
    Byť Európanom. Estetizácia etiky Andreja Vandráka.Lukáš Švihura - 2017 - In Vasil Gluchman (ed.), Etické myslenie minulosti a súčasnosti. Etika v minulosti - minulosť v etike / Ethical Thinking Past & Present. Ethics in the Past - the Past in Ethics. Prešov, Slovensko: pp. 129-148.
    The article updates the work of an important Prešov philosopher and educator Andrej Vandrák The Elements of Philosophical Ethics, which shows that scientific personalities of 19th century Prešov were intellectually close to European thought schools. Apart from Kant and Fries Vandrák’s works were also influenced by European philosophy as a whole, thus influencing Vandrák’s perception of inter alia, good and beautiful and the connection between ethical and aesthetic. These thought in Vandrák’s works show known European tendency and the topic which, (...)
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  26. added 2019-09-12
    Etika ako estetika existencie (Pokus o určenie trendov estetizácie ľudskej skúsenosti).Lukáš Švihura - 2014 - 9. Študentská Vedecká Konferencia: Zborník Plných Príspevkov.
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  27. added 2019-08-29
    Aesthetics of History: The Example of Russia / Эстетика Истории: Пример России.Pavel Simashenkov - 2019 - Modern European Researches 3 (2019):47-55.
    The article highlights the problem of studying historical time in terms of aesthetics and social ethics. The essence of history, according to the author, is not so much in retrospection or reflection, but in the gap between feeling and awareness. Guided by the apophatic method, the author analyzes the historiosophical views of domestic and foreign scholars and comes to the conclusion that the Soviet paradigm is true, where the only vector of human development is the liberation of labor in the (...)
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  28. added 2019-08-20
    Ordinary Monsters: Ethical Criticism and the Lives of Artists.Christopher Bartel - 2019 - Contemporary Aesthetics 17.
    Should we take into account an artist's personal moral failings when appreciating or evaluating the work? In this essay, I seek to expand Berys Gaut's account of ethicism by showing how moral judgment of an artist's private moral actions can figure in one's overall evaluation of their work. To expand Gaut's view, I argue that the artist's personal morality is relevant to our evaluation of their work because we may only come to understand the point of view of the work, (...)
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  29. added 2019-07-22
    Morality and Art: The Case of Huck Finn (Mark Twain's The'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn').Donovan Miyasaki - 2007 - Philosophy and Literature 31 (1):125-132.
    In the following essay, I argue that in the case of some works of art, moral evaluation should not play a role in artistic appraisal. While I reject the strong ethicist’s view—the view that moral evaluation may inform the artistic evaluation of any artwork—I will not do so in favor of the aestheticist’s position. The aestheticist argues for a rigid distinction between the moral and aesthetic evaluation of an artwork. On this view, the moral status of the work is independent (...)
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  30. added 2019-06-21
    Historical progress and involution of ideals / Исторический прогресс и инволюция идеалов.Pavel Simashenkov - 2017
    My book is about the human creativity being a source of progress, and cycling of evolution caused by platitude and triviality of once high-reaching idealism. In essence the book presents an original perception of human history, based on Christian values as vital coordinates system. I hope this book will revive the interest to the Russian school of thoughts and to humanism in general.
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  31. added 2019-06-06
    Can We Wrong a Work of Art?Eoin O’Connell - 2015 - Evental Aesthetics 4 (2):116-137.
    If we can wrong a work of art, then it has moral status. This paper considers two examples of putative wrongings of works of art, but in both cases, the claim that the work of art itself is wronged cannot be vindicated. The sense that a work of art has been wronged arises when that work has a special meaning for us or has a special standing in a cultural context. There is nothing intrinsic to works of art that can (...)
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  32. added 2019-06-06
    Visualität und Geschichte. Bilder als historische Akteure im Anschluss an Verkörperungstheorien.Martina Sauer - 2015 - In Grüne Niels & Oberhauser Claus (eds.), Jenseits des Illustrativen. Visuelle Medien und Strategien politischer Kommunikation. V&R uni press. pp. 39-60.
    Do have pictures an impact on future? Yes, say theories of embodiment by making perceptual foundations in place of representational arrangements responsible for it. -/- Wirken sich Bildern auf die Zukunft aus? Ja sagen Verkörperungstheorien und machen dafür weniger Repräsentationsmodelle als Wahrnehmungsweisen verantwortlich.
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  33. added 2019-06-06
    Ethics and Aesthetics: Reuniting the Siamese Twins.Philippe Mach - 2014 - The Monist 97 (1):122-137.
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  34. added 2019-06-06
    Contingency and Necessity: Human Agency in Musil’s The Man Without Qualities.Barbara Sattler - 2014 - The Monist 97 (1):86-103.
    This paper argues that the problem of how to act in the face of radical contingency is of central importance in Musil’s novel and intimately connected to what Musil calls the sense of possibility. There is a variety of different strategies by which individuals, and the state of Kakania as a whole, deal with contingency, and they all involve a claim to a kind of grounding or necessity; for example, the Parallel Campaign is one big attempt to ground Kakania in (...)
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  35. added 2019-06-06
    From Alberti’s virtù to the virtuoso Michelangelo. Questions on a concept that moved from ethics to aesthetics through drawing.Eduardo Côrte-Real & Susana Oliveira - 2011 - Rivista di Estetica 47:83-93.
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  36. added 2019-06-06
    Good Sense, Art, and Morality in Hume's ‘Of the Standard of Taste’.Reed Winegar - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1):17-35.
    In his essay ‘Of the Standard of Taste,’ Hume argues that artworks with morally flawed outlooks are, to some extent, aesthetically flawed. While Hume's remarks regarding the relationship between art and morality have influenced contemporary aestheticians, Hume's own position has struck many people as incoherent. For Hume appears to entangle himself in two separate contradictions. First, Hume seems to claim both that true judges should not enter into vicious sentiments and that true judges should adopt the standpoint of an artwork's (...)
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  37. added 2019-06-06
    The Possibility of a Different Theodicy: The Chinese ‘Sharawadgi’ and Shaftesbury’s Aesthetics and Ethics.Yu Liu - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):213-236.
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  38. added 2019-06-06
    Moral Anthropology in Kant’s Aesthetics and Ethics: A Reply to Ameriks and Sherman.Paul Guyer - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2):379-391.
  39. added 2019-06-06
    Framing The Bullfight: Aesthetics Versus Ethics.Nathalie Heinich - 1993 - British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1):52-58.
  40. added 2019-06-05
    Four Perspectives on the Value of Literature for Moral and Character Education. Carr - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 48 (4):1.
    We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal (...)
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  41. added 2019-06-05
    The Ethics of Singing Along: The Case of “Mind of a Lunatic”.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 71 (1):121-129.
    In contrast to film, theater, and literature, audiences typically sing along with popular songs. This can encourage a first-person mode of engagement with the narrative content. Unlike mere spectators, listeners sometimes imagine acting out the content when it is recited in the first-person. This is a common mode of engaging with popular music. And it can be uniquely morally problematic. It is problematic when it involves the enjoyment of imaginatively doing evil. I defend a Moorean view on the issue: It (...)
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  42. added 2019-06-05
    Review of Paul Crowther The Kantian Aesthetic. [REVIEW]Jennifer A. McMahon - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (2):229-231.
    Paul Crowther provides interpretations of key concepts in Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, indicating (particularly in very informative footnotes) how his views compare with those of other Kant commentators such as Paul Guyer, Rachel Zuckert, Béatrice Longuenesse, Henry Allison, Donald Crawford, Robert Wicks and others. One might be inclined to ask whether yet another interpretation of Kant’s third critique was needed, yet compared to his other two critiques, Kant’s Critique of Judgment can still be regarded as the neglected sibling. Its (...)
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  43. added 2019-06-03
    Erratum To: Non-Branching Moderate Moralism.Scott Clifton - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):113-113.
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  44. added 2019-06-03
    Non-Branching Moderate Moralism.Scott Clifton - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):95-111.
    Noël Carroll’s (“Moderate Moralism”) conceptual framework includes four positions: radical autonomism, moderate autonomism, moderate moralism, and radical moralism. Alessandro Giovanelli (“The Ethical Criticism of Art: A New Mapping of the Territory”) argues that the radical positions, as Carroll defines them, have no modern day adherents. Therefore, the framework should be adapted such that we can see interestingly new distinctions. On Giovanelli’s new framework Carroll’s account is a moderate autonomist view. In this paper I adopt Giovanelli’s framework and raise a different (...)
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  45. added 2019-05-31
    José Luis Bermúdez and Sebastian Gardner, Eds., Art and Morality. New York: Routledge, 2003, 303 Pp. . ISBN 0-415-19252-8, US$96.95. [REVIEW]Ruben Berrios - 2004 - Journal of Value Inquiry 38 (3):419-423.
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  46. added 2019-05-02
    The Fear of Aesthetics in Art and Literary Theory.Sam Rose - 2017 - New Literary History 48 (2):223-244.
    Is aesthetics, as has recently been claimed, now able to meet the accusations often levelled against it? This essay examines counters to three of the most common: that aesthetics is based around overly narrow conceptions of "art" and "the aesthetic"; that aesthetics is politically disengaged; and that aesthetics fails to engage with actual art objects and their histories.
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  47. added 2019-03-26
    Non‐Moral Evil.Allan Hazlett - 2012 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 36 (1):18-34.
  48. added 2019-02-17
    Cultural Appropriation and Oppression.Erich Matthes - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1003-1013.
    In this paper, I present an outline of the oppression account of cultural appropriation and argue that it offers the best explanation for the wrongfulness of the varied and complex cases of appropriation to which people often object. I then compare the oppression account with the intimacy account defended by C. Thi Nguyen and Matt Strohl. Though I believe that Nguyen and Strohl’s account offers important insight into an essential dimension of the cultural appropriation debate, I argue that justified objections (...)
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  49. added 2019-02-17
    Beautiful Bodhisattvas: The Aesthetics of Spiritual Exemplarity.Ian James Kidd - 2017 - Contemporary Buddhism 18 (2):331-345.
    The world’s spiritual traditions incorporate a variety of types of exemplar, persons who exemplify a life of aspiration to, or attainment of, spiritual goods. Within Buddhism, the range of exemplars includes monastics, boddhisattvas, the Zen masters, and the Buddha himself. Spiritual exemplars are typically described as having a distinctive form of bodily beauty, closely related to their ethical and spiritual qualities, that manifests as a form of radiance, luminosity, or charisma. Drawing on recent work on beauty, virtue, and the body (...)
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  50. added 2019-01-25
    Assessing the Intellectual Value of New Genre Public Art.Elisa Caldarola - 2019 - Open Philosophy 2 (1):22-29.
    Suzanne Lacy introduced the term ‘New Genre Public Art’ (NGPA) to refer to art practices that depart from those traditional of public art (such as installing works in parks and plazas) and focus instead on the direct engagement of artists with audiences to deal with pressing socio-political issues. In this paper, I argue that some works of NGPA should be valued for the intellectual value grounded in their artistic features, not dissimilarly to works of conceptual art. In developing my argument, (...)
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1 — 50 / 367