The Ethical Value of Narrative Representation

McGregor, Rafe (2017) The Ethical Value of Narrative Representation. Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, 47 (1). pp. 57-74. ISSN 2053-9320 DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/20539320.2017.1319626

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to defend a deflationary account of the ethical value of narrative representation. In sections 1 and 2 I demonstrate that there is a necessary relation between narrative representation and ethical value, but not between narrative representation and moral value. Ethical is conceived in terms of moral as opposed to amoral and moral in terms of moral as opposed to immoral and the essential value of narrative representation is restricted to the former. Recently, both theorists involved in the ethical turn in criticism and analytic philosophers have erred in conflating these two distinct kinds of value. In sections 3 to 5 I defend my deflationary view against three attempts to elevate the ethical value of narrative representation to moral value: Martha Nussbaum’s theory of realist novels, Noël Carroll’s virtue wheels, and Geoffrey Galt Harpham’s closural moral order.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Media
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 11:15
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/10873

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