In James Harold (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art (forthcoming)

Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College
This chapter offers an overview of issues posed by the problem of immoral artists, artists who in word or deed violate commonly held moral principles. I briefly consider the question of whether the immorality of an artist can render their work aesthetically worse (making connections to chapters in the Theory section of the handbook), and then turn to questions about what the audience should do and feel in response to knowledge of these moral failings. I discuss questions such as whether audiences have reason not to purchase or consume work by these artists, whether their shows and exhibitions should be canceled, and how fans might grapple with the emotional turmoil they feel when artists whom they love act or speak in ways that are morally condemnable.
Keywords art  ethics  ethical criticism  immoral artists  unethical artists  cancel culture  ethical consumerism  boycotts  betrayal
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Grandstanding.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (3):197-217.
Art, Emotion and Ethics.Berys Gaut - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Outrage Porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2):147-72.
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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The Art of Immoral Artists.Shen-yi Liao - forthcoming - In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Media Ethics. New York: Routledge.

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