Hume, Halos, and Rough Heroes: Moral and Aesthetic Defects in Works of Fiction

Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):91-102 (2017)
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Abstract

The starting point of this paper is a recent exchange in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism1 that pits moderate moralism against robust immoralism and has Humean antecedents. I will proceed by agreeing in part with both, but fully with neither, thereby annoying as many people as possible in one go. I believe, with Anne Eaton, the proponent of robust immoralism, that fictions which valorize what she calls "rough heroes" can arouse both aesthetically compelling and morally troubling reactions. On the other hand, I argue that the troubling moral reaction targeted need not be a sufficient ground for attributing a moral flaw to the...

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Eva Dadlez
University of Central Oklahoma

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