This stupid question needlessly dominates so much discourse about the “ethical criticism” of artworks. I wish it could be torpedoed out of sight. The question is stupid because (i) the answer is obviously “no”; (ii) it risks conflating two forms of judgement (moral and aesthetic) that have been kept separate since Kant’s critiques, not because of a philosophical argument against their independence, but because of the assumption that artworks have a single “value” derived from both aesthetic and ethical components, and that the job of criticism is to arrive at a quasi-numerical assessment of this value. 664 more words