When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral

Alfred Archer, Benjamin Matheson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

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
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

Fingerprint

Artist
Injustice
Emotion
The Great Work
Moral Reasons
Person
Credibility

Keywords

  • honor
  • condonation
  • silencing
  • epistemic injustice
  • admiration

Cite this

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When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral. / Archer, Alfred; Matheson, Benjamin.

In: Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - 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.

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