Art, Emotion and Ethics

Paperback | September 1, 2009

byBerys Gaut

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Art, Emotion and Ethics is a systematic investigation of the relation of art to morality, a topic that has been of central and recurring interest to the philosophy of art since Plato. Berys Gaut explores the various positions that have been taken in this debate, and argues that an artwork isalways aesthetically flawed insofar as it possesses a moral defect that is aesthetically relevant. Three main arguments are developed for this view; these involve showing how moral goodness is itself a kind of beauty, that artworks can teach us about morality and that this is often an aestheticmerit in them, and that our emotional responses to works of art are properly guided in part by moral considerations. Art, Emotion and Ethics also contains detailed interpretations of a wide range of artworks, including Rembrandt's Bathsheba and Nabokov's Lolita, which show that ethical criticism can yield rich and plausible accounts of individual works. Gaut develops a new theory of the nature of aesthetic value,explores how art can teach us about the world and what we morally ought to do by guiding our imaginings, and argues that we can have genuine emotions towards people and events that we know are merely fictional. Characterised by its clarity and sustained argument, this book will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the relation of art to morality.

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Art, Emotion and Ethics is a systematic investigation of the relation of art to morality, a topic that has been of central and recurring interest to the philosophy of art since Plato. Berys Gaut explores the various positions that have been taken in this debate, and argues that an artwork isalways aesthetically flawed insofar as it pos...

Berys Gaut is Reader in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:September 1, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019957152X

ISBN - 13:9780199571529

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations1. The Long Debate2. Aesthetics and Ethics: Basic Concepts3. A Conceptual Map4. Autonomism5. Artistic and Critical Practices6. Questions of Character7. The Cognitive Argument: The Epistemic Claim8. The Cognitive Argument: The Aesthetic Claim9. Emotion and Imagination10. The Merited Response ArgumentBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "There is much here to admire. Among the strengths of the work are the clarity and sophistication of Gaut's arguments...I consider this an important book that deserves to be widely read and discussed." --Daniel Jacobson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews