Chapter

Bad Morality, Bad Art?

Frank Palmer

in Literature and Moral Understanding

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780198242321
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680441 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242321.003.0007
Bad Morality, Bad Art?

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There is commonly a dilemma whenever the interest in literature is not a moral interest. To apprehend a work of literature as a work of art is not to regard it solely as a vehicle for moral instruction or moral enlightenment, nor would it be appropriate to appraise a work on the basis of its alleged moral message. However, on the other hand, it is normal that a literary work will express some attitude to human life, or to an aspect of it, and therefore has a moral dimension. In this case, no work can be ethically neutral. Therefore, it is important to draw a distinction between agreement and acceptance, in which, acceptance is not so tightly related to belief.

Keywords: literature; morality; evil; love; moral instruction; moral responsibility; negativity; art; agreement; acceptance

Chapter.  11424 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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