Re: Beauty versus Morality
It may be productive to address the secondary question, (or perhaps primary question), "if distinct" before moving on to the broader question regarding behavior of this question.
Both ethics and aesthetics involve a process of valuation, but I find it helpful to posit that ethics is concerned with what may be termed as logical processing, while aesthetics is more engaged with affect. With this in mind, then an underlying question, with regard to behavior, is how the object with which one is interacting is valued. I also find it helpful to engage the distinction in value of "use" and "intrinsic" when considering the process of valuation of both ethics and aesthetics.
What becomes interesting, and I think relevant to some of the responses to your question, is how we, as human beings, value other members of our species. I think that an answer to this question, and the subsequent valuation of the object in question, is a solid link between aesthetics and ethics. I think we are also returned to question the validity of categorizing "ethics" as a logical process and "aesthetics" as an emotional response. It may not be possible to separate affect from logic, (a relation that Antonio D’Amasio and his team have been investigating for some time.) In which case, what exactly is it that does "govern our choice of how to behave or what to say?" Should we be ‘governed’ by ‘logical’ analysis of any particular social context, or instinctual actions from internal emotional states?
And on the heels of that question, should we allow ourselves to be ‘governed’ by anything, or should we be actively engaging faculties of valuation that we have developed throughout our life times?
So, that’s my two cents, any thoughts?
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