Chapter 9. Susan Sontag, Diane Arbus, and the Ethical Dimensions of Photography

  1. Garry L. Hagberg Chair
  1. David Davies Associate Professor

Published Online: 23 FEB 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444302813.ch9

Art and Ethical Criticism

Art and Ethical Criticism

How to Cite

Davies, D. (2008) Susan Sontag, Diane Arbus, and the Ethical Dimensions of Photography, in Art and Ethical Criticism (ed G. L. Hagberg), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444302813.ch9

Editor Information

  1. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Author Information

  1. McGill University, Canada

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



  • ethical dimensions of photography;
  • ethical concerns about photography;
  • Sontag's critique of Arbus;
  • Arbus's work - to a tradition of American photography;
  • ethics of taking a photograph


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Baby with a Hand Grenade

  • Implications of a “Causal” Medium

  • Ethical Concerns about Photography

  • Sontag's Critique of Arbus

  • Some Difficulties with Sontag's Analysis

  • The Ethics of Taking a Photograph

  • The Ethics of Viewing a Photograph