PUBLIC TALK: Aesthetics/Ethics/Catastrophe
| Aesthetics/Ethics/Catastrophe : Public talk with Michael Levine
There are two extreme positions traditionally taken with respect to the relationship between art and morality; one is autonomism, or aestheticism, which is the view that it is inappropriate to apply moral categories to artworks, and that only aesthetic categories are relevant, while at the other end of the scale is moralism, the view that aesthetic objects should be judged solely with respect to moral standards. Both autonomism and moralism are problematic, as they are based on inadequate conceptions of art and aesthetic value. I examine Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and Jacque Callot’s Miseries of War both to illustrate the issue and to come to some conclusion about it.
Michael Levine is professor of philosophy at the University of Western Australia. He is author of the following books: Prospects for an Ethics of Architecture, with Bill Taylor (2011), Doing Philosophy, Watching Movies, with Damian Cox (2011), Politics Most Unusual: Violence, Sovereignty and Democracy in the “War on Terror,” with Damian Cox and Saul Newman (2009), Integrity and the Fragile Self, with Damian Cox and Marguerite LaCaze (2003), and Pantheism: A non-theistic concept of deity (1994). Levine has also edited Racism in Mind, with Tamas Pataki (2004), and The Analytic Freud: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (2000).
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