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Evaluating the Influence of Art on Moral Character and Ethical Knowledge


The influence of poetry, plays, and literary stories on morals and ethics has long been a topic of discussion. Famous Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle disagreed. They are analyzed in this research together with how society sees violence in movies, television, and video games. This article will show that Aristotle’s viewpoint is more up to date and offers a more complex and sober analysis of how morality and ethical understanding are influenced by art.


Regarding Plato: Plato voiced doubt over the impact of art, in especially tragic play and poetry, on people’s moral nature and ethical awareness. He thought that through inciting illogical emotions and normalizing vice, art might corrupt and deceive people.

Aristotle’s perspective: Aristotle recognized the cathartic value of art, especially tragedy, and its capacity to foster empathy and heighten moral awareness (Pitari, 2021). In his view, using art to examine moral conundrums from diverse angles promotes moral development and ethical thinking.

Comparative Analysis of Modern Discourse

It becomes clear that Aristotle’s viewpoint is more in line with the contemporary knowledge when contrasting Plato and Aristotle’s stances with the current debate over violence in movies, television shows, and video games. The controversy over media violence’s influence has received a lot of attention, often igniting worries about its possible effects on people’s moral growth and conduct.

According to critics, exposure to violent media material might desensitize viewers, increasing their acceptance and tolerance of aggressive conduct. They claim that vivid images of violence might encourage a culture of violence and impede people’s ability to develop empathy and moral judgment (Sharma, 2020). This frame of view is comparable to Plato’s worries about the corrupting effect of art.

However, mounting data shows that the differences between violent behavior in the real world and those shown in media are nuanced. According to research, sociocultural factors, personal ideals, and individual susceptibility all have an impact on media violence. Violence in stories, according to supporters of the media, may be used to examine moral issues, question social norms, and foster critical thought.

Aristotle’s Position

In light of these present-day disputes, Aristotle’s viewpoint seems to be more thorough and impartial. Aristotle’s emphasis on catharsis and the development of empathy gives a more nuanced approach while still addressing the possible harms connected to violent material (Sharma, 2020). Films, television, and video games are examples of artistic media that might provide a secure setting for people to face and consider ethically troubling circumstances. Reading a lot of fiction might aid in people’s moral development and understanding of complex ethical issues. Aristotle’s focus on emotional engagement is consistent with contemporary psychological theories that place a strong emphasis on affective factors in moral judgment. By generating feelings, artistic representations may aid in moral consideration and ethical understanding.

Reiterating the thesis and summarizing the arguments

Aristotle’s viewpoint is more in line with current knowledge in light of the continuing discussion on the impact of media violence and art. Plato worried about the corrupting power of art, while Aristotle took a more nuanced view, emphasizing catharsis, empathy, and moral development. Individuals may address and comprehend difficult ethical problems in a secure environment provided by artistic arts. Aristotle’s focus on emotional participation is supplemented by more recent psychology theories that place an emphasis on affective processes in moral decision-making. Aristotle balanced risks and benefits in his analysis of how art affects morality and ethics.


In conclusion, Aristotle’s viewpoint gives a more fair and pertinent approach, while Plato voiced skepticism about the impact of art on moral character and ethical understanding. The complexity of measuring violence’s impact on people is shown by the constant discussion around violence in movies, television shows, and video games. Aristotle’s focus on catharsis, empathy, and moral development is in line with modern thinking, which views media as a forum for probing moral quandaries and fostering critical thought. Aristotle’s perspective acknowledges the potential for art to improve moral sensibility and ethical reasoning while also noting the hazards. As a result, Aristotle’s perspective is more in line with the contemporary debate and offers a more complex and sober view of how art affects moral character and ethical knowledge.


Pitari, P. (2021). The Problem of Literary Truth in Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Poetics. Literature1(1), 14-23.

Sharma, B. (2020). Plato, Aristotle & the Dialectics of Poetry. International Journal on Integrated Education3(9), 6-10.


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