Art and Ethical Criticism

Art and Ethical Criticism

Garry L. Hagberg

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 1444337874

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Through a series of essays, Art and Ethical Criticism explores the complex relationship between the arts and morality.

  • Reflects the importance of a moral life of engagement with works of art
  • Forms part of the prestigious New Directions in Aesthetics series, which confronts the most intriguing problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of art today

Collecting and Appreciating: Henry James and the Transformation of Aesthetics in the Age of Consumption (Cultural Interactions: Studies in the Relationship between the Arts)

Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening

Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare's Sonnets

Wittgenstein: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)

Introducing Aesthetics: A Graphic Guide

Veils, Nudity, and Tattoos: The New Feminine Aesthetics


















the text invites,” according to Nussbaum, “without having some very definite political and moral interests awakened in oneself.”26 Good literature, in short, simply leaves us no choice but to be improved by it. Bad literature, on the other hand – and this is a striking asymmetry in the moralist position – has no effect on us whatsoever.27 We are all blessed with what has been dubbed “imaginative resistance:” when presented with a fictional world in which, say, murder is good, we find ourselves

the gang of vicious men and Petrus are 9781405134835_4_006.qxd 07/04/2008 02:44PM Page 149 Disgrace: Bernard Williams and J. M. Coetzee 149 descendants of the men and women who were earlier displaced from their land but who have returned to displace the current settlers. A half-black baby is growing inside a white mother, a lesbian has become a wife in a polygamous household, and various animals, first displaced from the wild to the domestic state, are further displaced from their usual

a man for whom she had no feeling. David’s fall is clearly out of proportion to any harm she could have suffered. Yet David is not just the imputed cause of an isolated and rather small misfortune. There has been grave harm, and he is a classic scapegoat who is forced to take on the sins of the world. He suffers vengeance and misfortune entirely out of proportion to the suffering he has personally caused, in accord with the tragic principle that, wherever there is suffering, the costs of

brought gratification and deserved admiration. It was inevitable, on their view, that some persons and some groups possessed more personal power than others, and ethically concerned philosophers were less concerned with equalizing power than with ensuring that it did not fall into the hands of ignorant and impulsive persons. For, those who possessed exceptional degrees of power were acknowledged to be potentially dangerous to others. The presentation of ethical ideals through philosophy, and the

ideal of equality really is or understand why it is so desirable. Some of these points, especially the notion of the development of reflective consciousness about one’s place in a hierarchy, are usefully applied to the novel. David and his daughter begin by considering themselves nice, ordinary people with no understanding of their privileged role within the academic and rural worlds they inhabit. They gradually become aware of the emotions experienced by others as a result of their own behavior,

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