Philosophers' enduring fascination with the concept of moral beauty has persisted from ancient Greece through the 19th century. However, analytic aestheticians, from a cognitivist standpoint, often regard “moral beauty” as a mere metaphorical expression or even dismiss it as a “categorical mistake.” The dawn of the 21st century witnessed a fresh wave of analytic aestheticians who embarked on a reevaluation of the age-old subject of moral beauty. They sought to establish its rationality within the framework of analytic aesthetics. To illustrate the aesthetic properties of moral qualities, scholars have presented three types of arguments: the “indirect argument” proposed by Berys Gaut, the “form and function-based argument for moral beauty” advanced by Panos Paris, and the “best explanation argument” jointly formulated by Panos Paris and Ryan Doran. These arguments not only lend support to the enduring proposition regarding the interplay between ethics and aesthetics within the domain of analytic philosophy but also significantly expand and enrich the horizons and possibilities of aesthetic inquiry.
analytic aesthetics, moral character, form, functional beauty, moral beauty
Li, Zhen, and Yubing Shen. 2024. "The Construction of the Possibility of “Moral Beauty” in Analytic Aesthetics." Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 43, (6): pp.171-182. https://tsla.researchcommons.org/journal/vol43/iss6/19