Grounding Moralism: Moral Flaws and Aesthetic Properties

Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (4):34-53 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


My goal in this article is to provide support for the claim that moral flaws can be detrimental to an artwork's aesthetic value. I argue that moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws when they defeat the operation of good-making aesthetic properties. I do not defend a new theory of aesthetic properties or aesthetic value; instead, I attempt to show that on both the response-dependence and the supervenience account of aesthetic properties, moral flaws with an artwork are relevant to what aesthetic properties obtain. I provide a description of the main features of both theories of aesthetic properties, and then explain how moral flaws can become aesthetic flaws on either account. I address several objections to moralism about art including the "moralistic fallacy.".



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,623

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

How Not to Defend Response Moralism.Aaron Smuts - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 49 (4):19-38.
Inverted Moderate Moralism.Meg Thomas - 2023 - Film and Philosophy 27:105-125.
How bad can good sport be?William J. Morgan - 2023 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 50 (1):36-62.
Fatal Prescription.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (2):151-163.
The Interaction of Ethics and Aesthetics in Environmental Art.Ted Nannicelli - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (4):497-506.
Morality and Aesthetics of Food.Shen-yi Liao & Aaron Meskin - 2017 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 658-679.
Philosophical Theories, Aesthetic Value, and Theory Choice.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):191-205.
Aesthetic Realism and Manifest Properties.Andrea Sauchelli - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (2):201-213.


Added to PP

210 (#99,835)

6 months
11 (#350,969)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Humor: Can Your Sense of Humor be Wrong?Aaron Smuts - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):333-347.
Two Dogmas of the Artistic-Ethical Interaction Debate.Louise Hanson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):209-222.
In Defense of Comic Pluralism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2):375-392.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Aesthetic Concepts.Frank Sibley - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (4):421-450.
Of the standard of taste.David Hume - 1875 - In Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Indianapolis: Liberty Press. pp. 226-249.
In Praise of Immoral Art.Daniel Jacobson - 1997 - Philosophical Topics 25 (1):155-199.

View all 16 references / Add more references