Chapter 1. Is Ethical Criticism a Problem? A Historical Perspective

  1. Garry L. Hagberg Chair
  1. Paul Guyer

Published Online: 23 FEB 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444302813.ch1

Art and Ethical Criticism

Art and Ethical Criticism

How to Cite

Guyer, P. (2008) Is Ethical Criticism a Problem? A Historical Perspective, in Art and Ethical Criticism (ed G. L. Hagberg), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444302813.ch1

Editor Information

  1. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Author Information

  1. Florence R. C. Murray Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 FEB 2009
  2. Published Print: 20 JUN 2008

Book Series:

  1. New Directions in Aesthetics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Dominic McIver Lopes3 and
  2. Berys Gaut4

Series Editor Information

  1. 3

    University of British Columbia, Canada

  2. 4

    University of St Andrews, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405134835

Online ISBN: 9781444302813



  • Is Ethical Criticism a Problem;
  • theory of disinterestedness;
  • Francis Hutcheson's Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue;
  • concept of adherent beauty;
  • Kant's concept of “adherent beauty” to his initial conception of “free beauty”;
  • Kant's theory of fine art;
  • constraints on beautiful representation of the ugly;
  • moral content as source of enduring and self-sustaining interest;
  • Coda - the beautiful as that which is complete in itself


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Is There a Problem about Ethical Criticism?

  • The Sensible Representation of the Moral

  • The Theory of Disinterestedness

  • Coda: The Beautiful as that which is Complete in itself