Dealbreakers and the Work of Immoral Artists

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (3):389-407 (2023)
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Abstract

A dealbreaker, in the sense developed in this essay, is a relationship between a person's psychology and an aspect of an artwork to which they are exposed. When a person has a dealbreaking aversion to an aspect of a work, they are blocked from embracing the work's aesthetically positive features. I characterize dealbreakers, distinguish this response from other negative responses to an artwork, and argue that the presence or absence of a dealbreaker is in some cases an appropriate target of moral evaluation. I then use the concept of dealbreakers to develop a new approach to the question of our moral obligations with respect to the work of immoral artists, arguing that there is no general obligation binding us to cultivate or eliminate a dealbreaking aversion to their work. I conclude by suggesting several other philosophical debates that could benefit from a focus on dealbreakers.

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Ian Stoner
Saint Paul College

References found in this work

When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral.Alfred Archer & Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):246-265.
Moderate moralism.Noël Carroll - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):223-238.
Art and painful emotion.Matthew Strohl - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 14 (1):e12558.

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