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21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality

[relationship between moral and aesthetic values]

35 ideas
Musical performance can reveal a range of virtues [Damon of Ath.]
What is fine is the parent of goodness [Plato]
If the King likes music then there is hope for the state [Mencius (Mengzi)]
The good is found in actions, but beauty can exist without movement [Aristotle]
Music can mould the character to be virtuous (just as gymnastics trains the body) [Aristotle]
Stoics say that beauty and goodness are equivalent and linked [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
Stoics use 'kalon' (beautiful) as a synonym for 'agathon' (good) [Bury on Stoic school]
Beauty motivates morality, by harmonising feeling and reason [Schiller, by Pinkard]
The upper classes put beauty first, and thus freed themselves from morality [Tolstoy]
We separate the concept of beauty from goodness, unlike the ancients [Tolstoy]
Having ethical sympathies is a bad mannerism of style in an artist [Wilde]
Books are only well or badly written, not moral or immoral [Wilde]
For pure moralists art must promote right action, and not just be harmless [Fry]
Only artistic qualities matter in art, because they also have the highest moral value [Bell,C]
Appreciating beauty in art or nature opens up the good life, by restricting selfishness [Murdoch]
The Aristotelian idea that choices can be perceived needs literary texts to expound it [Nussbaum]
Interesting art is always organised around ethical demands [Critchley]
'Autonomism' says the morality is irrelevant to the aesthetics [Jacobson,D]
Moral defects of art can be among its aesthetic virtues [Jacobson,D]
Immoral art encourages immoral emotions [Jacobson,D]
Audiences can be too moral [Jacobson,D]
Moderate moralism says moral qualities can sometimes also be aesthetic qualities [Jacobson,D]
We can judge art ethically, or rate its ethical influence, or assess its quality via its ethics [Jacobson,D]
Good ethics counts towards aesthetic merit, and bad ethics counts against it [Gaut]
Good art does not necessarily improve people (any more than good advice does) [Gaut]
If we don't respond ethically in the way a work prescribes, that is an aesthetic failure [Gaut]
'Moralism' says all aesthetic merits are moral merits [Gaut]
A work can be morally and artistically excellent, despite rejecting moral truth [John,E]
The works we value most are in sympathy with our own moral views [John,E]
We should understand what is morally important in a story, without having to endorse it [John,E]
We value morality in art because that is what we care about - but it is a contingent fact [John,E]
If the depiction of evil is glorified, that is an artistic flaw [Davies,S]
It is an artistic defect if excessive moral outrage distorts the story, and narrows our sympathies [Davies,S]
A work which seeks approval for immorality, but alienates the audience, is a failure [Davies,S]
Immorality may or may not be an artistic defect [Davies,S]