Possible exam questions on aes and ethics (incomplete)


1.         What is the merited response argument? Is it successful? What does it try to show? Give an example

2.         Explain the difference between moralism and ethicism. Give examples.

3.         Explain immoralism and give examples. Do you agree with it?

4.         What is amoralism (Gaut)?

5.         Is TW evil? Is it beautiful? What does Devereau think? Do you agree? Why?

6.         Explain Gaut’s views on the ethics and aesthetics of humor. Do you agree with him?

7.         Are racist/sexist jokes funny?

8.         What does it mean to say morality is an overriding consideration? Does Eaton agree with this claim? Do you? Use the Gauguin example to examine this issue.

9.         What points does Eaton try to make with the Goldfish painting example? Describe the 4 possible responses she considers and which she favors (for herself)? What does she think this shows about relation of ethics and aesthetics? Do you agree with her about this relation and about how this example illustrates it?

10.       In general describe Eaton’s view about the relation of aesthetic and ethics. (I may turn this into a multiple choice):

            a.         The same; identity

            b.         Different and separable

            c.         Inseparable but different

            d.         Separable but equal

            e.         One overrides the other

            f.         Integrated in ways that aesthetic subsumes ethics

            g.         Aesthetics as a mother of ethics (coming prior to it)

11.       What role does Eaton think knowledge and imagination should play in aesthetic appreciation of nature? Do you agree?

12.       What are the reasons for saying that correct categorization of art objects (and natural objects) is important for proper appreciation of them? Give examples. Do you agree?

13.       What is aestheticism (e.g., formalism) an what are some of the objections to this view?

14.       Should emotions/feelings/attitudes aimed at fiction and make believe be similar to or different than emotions directed at analogous real life events?

15.       Is it wrong to enjoy evil things represented in fiction?

16.       Explain the difference between art representing immoral things (having content that is immoral) and the artwork itself being immoral. Give examples.

17.       Explain what is meant by “the value of art as art.” Give an example of a value that is possessed by an art object, but is not relevant to its value as art.

18.       Give examples of art’s moral value. Give examples of arts cognitive value. What does the formalist/aestheticism say concerning whether or not the moral and cognitive values of art are relevant to valuing art as art. Do you agree with their assessment?