Moral Density: Why Teaching Art is Teaching Ethics

Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):155-172 (2019)
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Beauty is truth, truth beauty.If this epigraph only rarely escapes English class, something like it has fascinated philosophers for a long time. Iris Murdoch remembers that "Kant said that beauty was an analogon of good, Plato said it was the nearest clue."2 I want to go further and posit that our means of perception of the aesthetic and the ethical share an organic connection, an understanding of which will help elucidate moral perception, a critical component of moral education.Or moral education as it should be. But what currently counts as such is, directly or almost directly, simple instruction. I ask why this does not work. I ask why Jane Austen said, "We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is...
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