Book Review: Berys Gaut, Art, Emotion and Ethics
Umbers, R. (2010). Book Review: Berys Gaut, Art, Emotion and Ethics. Heythrop Journal, 51 (1), 172-173.
Does the blasphemous nature of writing Koranic verses on naked women make for good art? Is not the very obscenity of ‘gangsta’ rap part of its appeal as music? In the face of an artist's claims to aesthetic autonomy from ethical evaluation, or even the expression of a kind of duty to transgress normal moral boundaries, Berys Gaut (Senior Lecturer in Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews) has dedicated 252 pages of crisp but rather dry academic review to a defence of a positive relationship between art and ethics.