When Good Artists Do Bad Things

The Department of Philosophy’s Audi Memorial Lecture. Erich Hatala-Matthes, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Director, The Camilla Chandler Frost ‘47 Center for the Environment, Wellesley College.


Recent years have been punctuated by revelations and reminders that popular artists (musicians, directors, actors, comedians, painters) have committed a range of morally condemnable acts. What should we do, think, and feel in response to these actions? Does it affect the aesthetic quality of the work these artists have produced? Is it morally permissible for us to engage with or enjoy that work? Should such work even be available for consumption, or should it be “canceled”? In short, can we separate the art from the artist? I argue that it doesn’t matter whether we can separate the art from the artist because we shouldn’t. Taking both art and morality seriously requires grappling with them together. Recognizing the moral and aesthetic relationships between art and artist is essential to determining when and where we should draw the line when good artists do bad things."   

Dial-In Information

Interested in attending? Contact Beth MacKinnon bmackinnon@colgate.edu or (315) 228-7276 for more details.

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00pm to 6:15pm

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