When Artists Fall: Honouring and Admiring the Immoral

Authors
Benjamin Matheson
Stockholm University
Alfred Archer
Tilburg University
Abstract
Is it appropriate to honour artists who have created great works but who have also acted immorally? In this paper, after arguing that honouring involves picking out a person as someone we ought to admire, we present three moral reasons against honouring immoral artists. First, we argue that honouring can serve to condone their behaviour, through the mediums of emotional prioritization and exemplar identification. Second, we argue that honouring immoral artists can generate undue epistemic credibility for the artists, which can lead to an indirect form of testimonial injustice for the artists’ victims. Third, we argue, building on the first two reasons, that honouring immoral artists can also serve to silence their victims. We end by considering how we might respond to these reasons.
Keywords honour  admiration  epistemic injustice  condonation  silencing
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