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"Following Glassen (1958), Feinberg (1985, 107–112) holds that the obscene is a “charientic” category (deriving from the Greek 'charis', meaning something like grace), a category he believes should be distinguished both from the moral and the aesthetic. On this view, charientic judgments concern neither the morally good and bad, nor the beautiful and ugly. Rather, they concern the seemly and the unseemly. Charientic judgments are properly applied to humans and their behaviors, and fundamentally concern crudity or refinement of taste. Obscenity, says Feinberg (1985, " --Understanding Pornographic Fiction: Sex, Violence, and Self-Deception (2016) by Charles Nussbaum

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Charientic is a term coined by Peter Glassen, derived from the Greek charis, meaning grace.

He first used the term in his article ""Charientic" Judgments" (1958) in Philosophy, April, 1958, pp. 138-46.

In Feinberg

Feinberg cites it 36 times in Offense to Others.

"Beginning with vulgarity, I shall draw on an astute but little known article by Peter Glassen. In this article, Glassen coins the term "charientic" to refer to a class of evaluative judgments which he thinks are quite distinct and different from moral and aesthetic judgments. Statements ascribing vulgarity are typical of the judgments in this category:
"It seems to me that they [charientic judgments] are not moral judgments. The things thought to he vulgar—like chewing gum, making scenes, picking one's nose, etc.—are not commonly thought to be morally wrong or immoral. Moreover, a man may be thought to be of the highest moral character, and yet be held to be vulgar in greater or lesser degree . . . Conduct can be judged from more than one perspective at the same time .. . It seems to me to be pretty clear also that judgments in terms of Vulgar' are not aesthetic judgments, being made mostly about persons and their acts, and not about things and experiences. 'Vulgar' applied to works of art is a transferred epithet; 'beautiful' and 'ugly,' however, are not."
The class of "charientic terms," positive and negative, includes not only "vulgar," but "uncouth," "boorish," "tasteless," "philistine," "refined," "sensitive," "cultivated," "civilized," "tasteful," "classy," and "cool." These terms as a class clearly seem distinguished from "righteous," "wicked," "honest," and "cruel," and also from "beautiful," "ugly," "dainty," and "dumpy."
H. L. A. Hart cites sexual intercourse performed in public by a married couple as behavior that is indecent (in its context) but not immoral, since it would be wholly innocent if done in private."
Revulsion, however, is characteristically either moral, charientic, or yukky. It may well be, in fact, that there is no such thing as pure "aesthetic revulsion," properly speaking, that by the time an emotional reaction is strong enough to be revulsion it has imported elements from these other realms."

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