British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):37-50 (2018)

Authors
Christopher Bartel
Appalachian State University
Abstract
Is it ever morally wrong for a consumer to imagine something immoral in a work of fiction, or for an author to prompt such imagining? Brandon Cooke has recently argued that it cannot be. On Cooke’s account, fictive imagining is immune to moral criticism because such cases of imagining do not amount to the endorsement of the immoral content, nor do they imply that the authors of such fictions necessarily endorse their contents. We argue against Cooke that in fact fictively imagining something immoral can be morally blameworthy, specifically in cases where fictive imagining is engaged in the service of immoral desires. Taking one potent case—namely, rape-fantasy pornography—we argue that the proper engagement with pornography requires the engagement of the consumer’s desires. Insofar as it is morally wrong to desire something immoral, or to encourage others to desire something immoral, then consumers can be held morally blameworthy for engaging in such fictive imaginings and works of fiction that are crafted to fit these purposes can be open to moral condemnation.
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayx031
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References found in this work BETA

The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabo 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 Ethical Criticism of Art.Berys Gaut - 1998 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection. Cambridge University Press. pp. 182--203.
A Sensible Antiporn Feminism.A. W. Eaton - 2007 - Ethics 117 (4):674-715.
Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures.Jerrold Levinson - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):228-240.

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Citations of this work BETA

Free Will, the Self, and Video Game Actions.Andrew Kissel - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):177-183.

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