By Jerrold Levinson

ISBN-10: 0521788056

ISBN-13: 9780521788052

This significant selection of essays stands on the border of aesthetics and ethics and bargains with charged problems with functional import: paintings and morality, the ethics of flavor, and censorship. As such its power curiosity is in no way restricted to expert philosophers; it may additionally attract paintings historians and critics, literary theorists, and scholars of movie. famous philosophers in either aesthetics and ethics take on a big selection of concerns. a number of the questions explored within the quantity contain: Can artwork be morally enlightening and, if that is so, how? If a piece of paintings is morally greater does that make it larger as paintings? Is morally poor paintings to be kept away from, or perhaps censored? Do matters of works of art have rights as to how they're represented? Do artists have tasks as artists and tasks as people, and if this is the case, to whom? How a lot pressure is there among the calls for of artwork and the calls for of existence?

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Extra info for Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection

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In rational scientific inquiry, one seeks to confine one's beliefs to those that could ultimately be based on certain minimal assumptions - based on them in the following sense. If one were aware of all the experiences contributing to the rise of the belief in question and if one were, with unimpeded intelligence and attention, to interpret these experiences in accordance with the minimal assumptions, modified as the pursuit of coherence may require, then one would adopt the belief. The minimal assumptions involve prima facie commitments without which no one could learn about the subject matter in question.

I hope it is that of my readers as well. Note, too, that teaching someone how to appreciate a type of work (poetry, say, or Post-Impressionist painting) is naturally carried out in this mode. Of course, teaching and learning about art also produce knowledge of historical circumstances and artistic conventions and techniques. But this learning leads to scholarship that is value-blind unless it facilitates an otherwise unavailable appreciation of "what the author [composer, painter, or whoever] did in the work," an appreciation that involves enjoyment of a process due to the work which has a learninglike scenario even though its goal is not learning, not even learning truths about art.

The hope that every critic with traits whose relevance must be acknowledged by all who grasp the concept of aesthetic value would, if he or she took part in enough discussion and scrutiny, arrive at the same 43 Richard W. Miller assessment of Fassbinder, Brecht, or Ronald Firbank is wishful thinking. Suppose that in viewing The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant I really do enjoy a process like wondering whether a person overcome by a passion for another is ridiculous or serious, in love or in love with her emotions, abject or in touch with life's value; suppose I really am stirred and deeply amused by this process, a process like moving from each hypothesis to its opposite and finally finding that the oppositions are not so significant after all; and suppose that in the enjoyed process I am not actually engaged in finding truths or gaining practical or moral insight.

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Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection by Jerrold Levinson


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