The San Diego Philosophy Forum is pleased to announce that Zoe Close, Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Grossmont College, will speak on "Controversial Art: When Ethics and Aesthetics Clash."
This event, open to the public and free of charge, will take place 6:30-8:00 PM, Tuesday, September 23 at the North University Public Library: 8820 Judicial Dr. (near the 805 highway's Nobel Exit).
This is a food-friendly space, with light refreshments and coffee available. More information, if any, will be posted, as available, to SDPhil.org
ABOUT THE SESSION:
Recognizing the problematic, and even dangerous, conflict between art and morality, the philosopher Plato struggled heavily with this when he laid plans for his perfect society in The Republic. Since that time philosophers have continued to seek the proper relationship between ethics and aesthetics. In our contemporary world this is one of the liveliest topics among artists, critics and philosophers. For example, on any given day we can read about a music group that has been taken to court on grounds that their lyrics are obscene, or of a visual artist whose image is claimed to violate the rights of members of our culture or of a sculpture being removed from a public space because the community finds it objectionable.
It is important for philosophers to consider how we should respond to changing moral values, changing creative forms and how these two sets of values relate to one another. In this session I will present the two leading and opposing philosophic positions on the subject. The presentation will consider such major questions as “Can art be good aesthetically but morally objectionable? and “Is moral goodness essential for producing artistic beauty?” We will also have the opportunity to view several controversial contemporary art pieces. These examples will be quite varied and from different parts of the world. I have constructed a set of questions that participants will receive and answer for each of the pieces. The questions will provide a guide for group discussion. This presentation provides a robust model for making controversy a focal point from which to see clearly the nature of value inquiry. - Zoe Close
Professor Close is the Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Grossmont College. She enjoys both creative and analytic pursuits, teaching courses that range from Aesthetics to Logic. She is also an accomplished pianist and has accompanied for ballet and opera.
The relationship between art and morality is a long-standing area of professional work for her, and she has explored this philosophic problem in many different parts of the world. Presenting at philosophical events in the wider San Diego area as well as state and national conferences entail some of her most rewarding experiences and professional relationships.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including three different National Endowment for the Humanities grants; the 2002 Vasconcellos California State Award for advocacy of the California Community Colleges; the 2004 Distinguished Faculty award for Grossmont College; the 2005 Hayward Award for Education from the California Community College Board of Governors and is the recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Africa.