Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 28 July 2013, Question 2
I answered a question on romanticizing historical figures in art on Philosophy in Action Radio on 28 July 2013. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.
Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of him? Would it be wrong to ignore some unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character?
My Answer, In Brief: The basic facts and moral nature of any historical figure should be respected, although rough edges might be smoothed away to create a more consistent character in literature. Inventions should not be represented as historical fact.
- Duration: 14:06
- Download: MP3 Segment (4.8 MB)
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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