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Art, Emotion and Ethics$
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Berys Gaut

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263219.001.0001

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The Merited Response Argument

The Merited Response Argument

Chapter:
(p.227) 10 The Merited Response Argument
Source:
Art, Emotion and Ethics
Author(s):

Berys Gaut (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263219.003.0010

This chapter develops and defends the merited response argument for ethicism. Less satisfactory versions of the argument due to Hume and Noöl Carroll are criticized. The favoured version of the argument developed here holds, roughly, that when works prescribe responses to the events that they represent, their aesthetic success partly depends on these responses being merited, and that whether this is so partly depends on whether the responses are ethical. Several objections to this argument, including some by Jacobson, are discussed and rejected. The chapter also discusses at length the case of dark humour, including black comedies and satire. It is shown that dark humour does not undermine the merited response argument or ethicism.

Keywords:   black comedy, Carroll, Hume, humour, Jacobson, merited response argument, prescribed responses, satire

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