Immoral Art?

Jeanne Proust at Mathew Gallery

Sun, Jul 22 at 3 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Can the aesthetic experience conceivably free itself from any ethical consideration?

When art decided to assert its autonomy towards the end of the 19th century, it intended to free itself from social and moral norms that had been hanging over the creative process throughout art history. The vast majority of art pieces were not intended just to please the senses and formal beauty was in the service of political and religious preoccupations.


In this Olio, we will be wondering about the origin of moral judgments towards art pieces whether it be from the artist’s perspective or the spectator’s. We will also question the legitimacy of certain frontiers that have been traced between art and non-art and to what extent these frontiers have to do with the moral judgment about the pieces at hand?

Specifically, the relationship between art and ethics raises multiple questions for us to explore:

Can art within itself be qualified as immoral or moral?

Can the aesthetic experience conceivably free itself from any ethical consideration?

Should we be speaking about ethical responsibility when we consider the social role of an artist?

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

Jeanne Proust's research focuses on Théodule Ribot’s Diseases of the Will, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives. While teaching at different universities here in New York, Jeanne is advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the academic frontiers.


Venue: Mathew Gallery

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.