When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral

Alfred Archer, Benjamin Matheson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Is it appropriate to honor artists who have created great works but who have also acted immorally? In this article, after arguing that honoring involves identifying a person as someone we ought to admire, we present three moral reasons against honoring immoral artists. First, we argue that honoring can serve to condone their behavior, through the mediums of emotional prioritization and exemplar identification. Second, we argue that honoring immoral artists can generate undue epistemic credibility for the artists, which can lead to an indirect form of testimonial injustice for the artists’ victims. Third, we argue, building on the first two reasons, that honoring immoral artists can also serve to silence their victims. We end by considering how we might respond to these reasons.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)246-265
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
    Issue number2
    Early online date2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • honor
    • condonation
    • silencing
    • epistemic injustice
    • admiration


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