The interaction of ethical and aesthetic value

Robert Stecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In many artworks, both aesthetic and ethical values are present, and both can contribute to the overall artistic value of a work. The question explored in this paper is: does the presence of one kind of value affect the degree of the other? For example, does a work that expresses a morally reprehensible attitude diminish the aesthetic value of a work? Let 'interaction' name the view that the presence of one kind of value affects the degree of the other. We will argue in favour of the existence of interaction. However, we will argue further that such interaction is a contingent feature of artworks and that the most common argument that has been offered for interaction - the affective -response -argument - fails to identify the main reason why it holds, when it in fact does.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-150
Number of pages13
JournalThe British Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


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