Art and Morality by R. W. Beardsmore (auth.)

By R. W. Beardsmore (auth.)

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P. r63. AUTONOMISM purpose of making money where one decently can; it will not mean that any error has been made in the calculation on which the expectation of profit was based; it will not mean that one has thought of a better way of making money. Let us suppose the purpose firm, the calculation correct, and the prospect of gain more assured and more brilliant by far than any discoverable alternative. I suppose that it will be agreed that it may still be rejected on moral grounds. . To the merely practical or purposive man, say a partner .

Nevertheless, it does not follow that the latter stands outside morality in this respect, as if by ignoring moral questions he thereby rendered himself immune from moral criticism. For, as I have said, the fact that he ignores moral issues is itself grounds for moral condemnation. If he doesn't see the problem, someone might respond, then so much the worse for him. It is in this sense that moral problems are unavoidable. By contrast, Hampshire speaks as though the problems of morality were unavoidable in the sense that anyone will see them as problems, as though the problems were setfor rather than by morality.

J Vronsky is a parasite in the sense that the Forsytes are. He can keep up certain conventions, but he cannot, in Lawrence's words, 'carry on a tradition' (in his case, an artistic tradition). The difference between these things cannot be explained simply in terms of a knowledge of the standards involved in any form of activity. Rather, it is a distinction between simply knowing the standards, which V ronsky does, and being able to extend or enrich them, which Vronsky cannot do. The whole of his inspiration comes from what others have done; he cannot find inspiration in his own life.

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