You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or sign in to view the full course.

The Ethics of Art

2. Two Basic Assumptions

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or sign in to view this lecture.

  • About this Lecture
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we acknowledge two potential objections to the question being asked: first, the concept of moral relativism, i.e. the concept that there is no clear notion of immortality; and second, the potential problems involved in describing the artwork’s ‘point of view.


In this course, Dr Sacha Golob (King’s College, London) explores the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. Must a work of art be morally good in order to qualify as ‘great’? Can morally bad works of art ever be considered great? What does it mean to say that an artwork is ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Does art have anything to do with morality? Or everything to do with it? As we move through the course, we consider several works of art that may be considered morally questionable—Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and ‘Merchant of Venice’—as well as thinking about the views of key thinkers in this area.


Sacha Golob read Philosophy as an undergraduate at Pembroke College, Cambridge before completing the BPhil in Philosophy at Merton College, Oxford. He returned to Cambridge to do his PhD on the relationship between Kant and Phenomenology.

From 2009 to 2012 he was an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Junior Research Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Golob, S. (2018, August 15). The Ethics of Art - Two Basic Assumptions [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Golob, Sacha. "The Ethics of Art – Two Basic Assumptions." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,