The Art of Immoral Artists

In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Media Ethics. Routledge. pp. 193-204 (2024)
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Abstract

The primary aim of this chapter is to outline the consensuses that have emerged in recent philosophical works tackling normative questions about responding to immoral artist’s art. While disagreement amongst philosophers is unavoidable, there is actually much agreement on the ethics of media consumption. How should we evaluate immoral artist’s art? Philosophers generally agree that we should not always separate the artist from the art. How should we engage with immoral artist’s art? Philosophers generally agree that we should not always reflexively turn away from them. In turn, these responses reveal that moral value is not autonomous from aesthetic value, and neither dominates the other. The secondary aim of this chapter is to explore the ramifications of this revelation. I argue that, in addition to an ethics of media consumption, we need an aesthetics of media consumption that is fundamentally social rather than solitary.

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Shen-yi Liao
University of Puget Sound

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