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Abstract

One of the great innovations of the Decameron, with respect to the tradition, is that it aims to complicate our moral views and our ethical responses. If one believes, as I suspect many of us do, that the Decameron is neither immoral nor amoral in its stance, and if one believes, as I suspect many of us do, that the Decameron‘s purpose is not solely to entertain, this claim won‘t strike us as earth-shaking. Precisely how the Decameron complicates our moral views —how it goes about teaching us about moral reasoning, how it leads us to reflect on what we find praiseworthy or blameworthy, and above all how it demonstrates the value of literature to this enterprise —this is a matter unlikely to be re-solved any time soon.It must continue to be discussed.

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