The Aesthetics Work Group will be led by Caroline Requierme (CofC, Computing and the Arts major) on Thursday, 3/24 at 4:15. The topic will be the moral and aesthetic impact of bad characters in film (particularly animated film), and of “immoral art” more generally.
Philosophers from Plato to David Hume to Anne Eaton have worried about art’s presentation of good and bad characters. Plato thought this should be avoided in all cases, Hume thought that if an artwork appeared to approve of a bad character than we “could not, nor is it appropriate that we should” enter into the sentiments of these “rough characters”, and Eaton (against both Hume and Plato) thinks that some works that approve of "rough characters" (and invite us to enter into their sentiments) and are better works of art because of it. The former two positions are both species of “moralism” in art, and Eaton’s position is a species of what she calls “immoralism.” Caroline, with the help of the attached chapter by Matthew Kieran, weighs in on the debate. While she is closer to the “immoralist” side of the debate, she thinks that the terms of the debate have confused what’s valuable about the encounter with “rough characters” in works of art. This discussion should be particularly fun since it will focus on villains we all love to hate (hate to love?). Bring examples!