We are a group of intellectually curious people who discuss current events, political and social trends, etc. Rather than a free-form discussion, we will ground our discussion in articles we read before the meet-up, from The Atlantic, Time, New Yorker, etc.
For the past several centuries, a debate has raged over whether art should have a moral component or not. The debate is generally framed something like this: what is the purpose of Art? Is it to instruct us, to somehow benefit or promote the civil good? Or is it devoid of any moral component or purpose, what was referred to, in one incarnation of the debate, as "art for art's sake," rather than for the sake of any social good?
In a recent article (October 3, 2018) in the New York Times, called "The Morality Wars," art critic Wesley Morris explores the recent swing of the pendulum back towards the idea that art should provide a moral compass. He takes issue with this idea.
What is your view? Please read the article and maybe look up some art movements in the past related to this idea. Do you think art should be beautiful, disturbing, provocative, reassuring?