On judging the moral value of narrative artworks

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2):259–270 (2006)
Authors
James Harold
Mount Holyoke College
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that in at least some interesting cases, the moral value of a narrative work depends on the aesthetic properties of that artwork. It does not follow that a work that is aesthetically bad will be morally bad (or that it will be morally good). The argument comprises four stages. First I describe several different features of imaginative engagement with narrative artworks. Then I show that these features depend on some of the aesthetic properties of those works. Third, I argue that these same features of imaginative engagement are morally salient, by virtue of inviting more or less sophisticated and reflective moral responses. Finally, I show that the overall moral value of an artwork depends in part on whether or not the prescribed response is simple or complex, passive or reflective.
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DOI 10.1111/j.0021-8529.2006.00247.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55.
The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.Richard Moran - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):75-106.
The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature, and Moral Knowledge.Noël Carroll - 2002 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1):3–26.
The Ethical Criticism of Art.Berys Gaut - 1998 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection. Cambridge University Press. pp. 182--203.

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