Art And The Good Analysis

1143 Words 5 Pages
In the grand ideas of justice and “the good” a disputed concept is the notion of goodness and the former being mutually exclusive. However, this may be a misconception. Justice and “the good” are not necessarily good, we have been taught the world is much more complex than that, and society is filled with as many uncertainties as it is filled with people. This complexity is similar in their relation to art, the practice of art does have a relation to these ideas, but art may serve them in a variety of ways, throughout the moral spectrum of good. This makes the claims many theorists have that “art will deflect us from ethical behavior” a valid one, but while it may be valid as a point, it does not necessarily make their stances on art being …show more content…
That is to say whether an artist is creating in the name of “the good” or justice is not always considered. One needs to take into consideration the idea that “the good” is very broad, and what is considered “the good”, may in some respects be considered edgy, disgusting, and challenging of public moral standings. However, it can be argued through numerous examples in history that this is where art is truly good, when it is not considered to be representative of “the good” in its individual time or place, but rather challenging those contemporary ideals. The countless times a basic structure of story has been repeated is never a point of contention, but how it is presented to challenge what is “good” frequently is. When in reality this repetition, “the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances—is plagiarism”(Lethem 94). Plagiarism is a despised action, hated, and ridiculed; it is heavily considered to have no place in “the good”, and yet not only is Lethem defending it as a sole motivation of what is good, but he gives numerous examples in his text of why countless other artists have also indirectly stated or shown this in their own work. Here is the gray space, which “the good” and art share a deep and lengthy relationship with each other, and where one of arts many shady areas can be justified. However, a …show more content…
Yes, there are many theorists who contest that art corrupts human ethical decision making because of the way emotion is stirred by art. Art is a passionate game. A 19th century serial killer once said, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing” (H.H. Holmes). Here is a completely morally corrupt man arguing for the fact that art is inherent, and that art compels the artist to act on this inherent will, often at the cost of “logic”. H.H. Holmes was an artist in that he masterfully designed brutal ways to terrify, maim, and murder his victims, and a poet is an artist in the way that his writings can cause fear, joy, and jealousy in an individual. Plato would consider this to be a prime example for the basis of his banishing of the arts, and if not his banishing then his supreme control of the arts. He believed that “they [a council of old wise men] may regulate dancing, music, and all choral strains, according to the mind of the judges; and not allowing them to indulge, except in some few matters, their individual pleasures and fancies” (Plato 210). A form of syndicate censorship, all for the purpose of keeping in control the ethics of those living in Plato’s utopia. From historic examples of supreme autocratic rule, we know this would never work, but it is the mere

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