American Beauty Drama Film Ethics and Morals Reflection Paper

Before we watch and analyze the film “American Beauty,” it is important to remember that a reflection of beauty is tied to one’s ethics/morals.

From: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and appreciation of art, beauty and good taste. It has also been defined as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature”. The word “aesthetics” derives from the Greek “aisthetikos”, meaning “of sense perception”. Along with Ethics, aesthetics is part of axiology (the study of values and value judgments)….

According to Immanuel Kant (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., beauty is objective and universal (i.e. certain things are beautiful to everyone). But there is a second concept involved in a viewer’s interpretation of beauty, that of taste, which is subjective and varies according to class, cultural background and education.

In fact, it can be argued that all aesthetic judgments are culturally conditioned to some extent, and can change over time (e.g. Victorians in Britain often saw African sculpture as ugly, but just a few decades later, Edwardian audiences saw the same sculptures as being beautiful).

Judgments of aesthetic value can also become linked to judgments of economic, political or moral value (e.g. we might judge an expensive car to be beautiful partly because it is desirable as a status symbol, or we might judge it to be repulsive partly because it signifies for us over-consumption and offends our political or moral values.)”