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Art as Experience de John Dewey
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Art as Experience (original: 1934; edição: 2005)

de John Dewey (Autor)

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860518,601 (3.94)5
Art as Experience evolved from John Dewey's Willam James Lectures, delivered at Harvard University from February to May 1931. In his Introduction, Abraham Kaplan places Dewey's philosophy of art within the context of his pragmatism. Kaplan demonstrates in Dewey's esthetic theory his traditional "movement from a dualism to a monism" and discusses whether Dewey's viewpoint is that of the artist, the respondent, or the critic.… (mais)
Membro:dwalkup
Título:Art as Experience
Autores:John Dewey (Autor)
Informação:TarcherPerigee (2005), Edition: 1, 371 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
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Art as Experience de John Dewey (1934)

Adicionado recentemente porecramb, biblioteca privada, KatrinkaV, ACTArborlibrary, D.Prisson, RandomCitizens, lycanthropist
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Because this book is so far out of my comfort zone I gave it all the benefit of the doubt I could muster. I don't even disagree with most of it, it's just the author doesn't say all that much. A lot of the book is just one man's opinion on what art is. It's a word and its meaning is so vague you can define it a million ways. Some definitions are more internally consistent than others and this one is just fine.

There is a lot being made of the fact that art becomes art only when perceived and how it's a form of communication, somehow special and better than others. No, it's not. There's also some complaining about utility taking precedence over beauty when it comes to craftsmanship and that's not a bad thing. Beauty is a proxy for utility (evolutionary genetics don't lie) so it's fine.

I general, it's very thin on arguments and very dense with thoughts - written almost like a stream of consciousness with no structure. At least we get chapter headings. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |



Are there times in your life that are dull and dreary, a mechanical, mindless shuffling from one tedious task to another? According to American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952), such moments in anybody’s life lack aesthetic quality. He writes in Art as Experience, “The enemies of the aesthetic are neither the practical nor the intellectual. They are the humdrum; slackness of loose ends; submission to convention in practice and intellectual procedure.” We may ask, by Dewey’s reckoning, what will be needed to have an aesthetic experience? And when will an aesthetic experience be deemed artistic? As a way of answering these questions, we can take a look at the following example:

A woman is sitting on a bench in a city park. She listens to the children playing on a nearby playground, she feels the sun on her skin, she watches attentively as people walk to and fro. She feels connected to everyone and everything; life has such fullness and she will remember this afternoon in the park for a long time. Then, after about an hour of this very rich experience, she takes out her flute and starts playing. Since she is a world-class flutist, her wonderful music attracts a number of people who stand around and listen to her play. After playing several pieces, she nods her head and puts away her flute. The small crowd applauds and walks off.


Dewey would say the woman’s first experience of sitting in silence, fully present and awake to the richness of what life offers, has a certain completeness and aesthetic quality. Her second experience of playing the flute and sharing her music is an extension and intensification of the first experience. And because her playing incorporates a mastery and control of a particular technique (flute playing) and expression of emotions and feelings with others, it is a powerful artistic form of human communication.

Expanding on this example, a key concept for Dewey is ‘continuity’, that is, how all of life within the universe is part of a dynamic rhythm, forever alternating between disequilibrium and equilibrium, tension and resolution. And our human experience, including human making and crafting, is an outgrowth and amplification of these patterns of nature. Thus, for Dewey, viewing art and aesthetic experience as something set apart, restricted to museums, galleries, theaters and concert halls is a modern distortion.

Also, along the same lines, Dewey asks, “Why is there repulsion when the high achievements of fine art are brought into connection with common life, the life that we share with all living creatures? Why is life thought of as an affair of low appetite, or at its best a thing of gross sensation, and ready to sink from its best to the level of lust and harsh cruelty?” With such questions, we see how Dewey values continuity and integration of all aspects of our very human nature – mental, emotional, sensual, bodily, perceptive. He rebels against rigid dualism, setting spirit against flesh, mind against body. Applying this line of thinking to art and aesthetics, Dewey urges us to view human creativity as, ideally, involving the whole person. Unfortunately, he notes, such a holistic approach goes against the grain of our modern-day, highly-specialized, compartmentalized culture.

Yet again another aspect of continuity is linking an artist’s creation with the artist’s life as a whole. I recall reading about a court case where the judge asked great 19th century American painter James Abbott Whistler how he could charge so much for a painting since it took less than an hour to paint. Whistler replied, “Yes, but it also took a lifetime of experience.” It is this ‘lifetime of experience’ Dewey recognizes as being so important to artistic creation.

One area I find particularly fascinating is how Dewey defends abstract art against those thinkers and art critics who view abstract art as devoid of expression or overly intellectual. Dewey counters by citing how all art abstracts, for example, a painting portrays a three dimensional landscape in two dimensions. He also likens abstract art to a chemist’s abstraction of the material, visible elements of earth, water, fire and air into molecules and atoms. Another thought-provoking insight is when Dewey notes how many people in our modern world are tormented since they lack the control and technical skill to transform their powerful emotions and life experiences into a work of art in any form.

On the universality of art and aesthetic experience, we read, “In the end, works of art are the only media of complete and unhindered communication that can occur in a world full of gulfs and walls that limit community of experience.” So, for Dewey, unlike politics and religion, subjects that have a tendency to cut people off from one another, painting and sculpture, music and dance, theater and literature and other forms of art provide us with a great opportunity to connect with other people and share our common humanity. Certainly, what we have going on with Goodreads is an excellent example of Dewey’s philosophy. ( )
1 vote Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |


Are there times in your life that are dull and dreary, a mechanical, mindless shuffling from one tedious task to another? According to American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952), such moments in anybody’s life lack aesthetic quality. He writes in Art as Experience, “The enemies of the aesthetic are neither the practical nor the intellectual. They are the humdrum; slackness of loose ends; submission to convention in practice and intellectual procedure.” We may ask, by Dewey’s reckoning, what will be needed to have an aesthetic experience? And when will an aesthetic experience be deemed artistic? As a way of answering these questions, we can take a look at the following example:

A woman is sitting on a bench in a city park. She listens to the children playing on a nearby playground, she feels the sun on her skin, she watches attentively as people walk to and fro. She feels connected to everyone and everything; life has such fullness and she will remember this afternoon in the park for a long time. Then, after about an hour of this very rich experience, she takes out her flute and starts playing. Since she is a world-class flutist, her wonderful music attracts a number of people who stand around and listen to her play. After playing several pieces, she nods her head and puts away her flute. The small crowd applauds and walks off.


Dewey would say the woman’s first experience of sitting in silence, fully present and awake to the richness of what life offers, has a certain completeness and aesthetic quality. Her second experience of playing the flute and sharing her music is an extension and intensification of the first experience. And because her playing incorporates a mastery and control of a particular technique (flute playing) and expression of emotions and feelings with others, it is a powerful artistic form of human communication.

Expanding on this example, a key concept for Dewey is ‘continuity’, that is, how all of life within the universe is part of a dynamic rhythm, forever alternating between disequilibrium and equilibrium, tension and resolution. And our human experience, including human making and crafting, is an outgrowth and amplification of these patterns of nature. Thus, for Dewey, viewing art and aesthetic experience as something set apart, restricted to museums, galleries, theaters and concert halls is a modern distortion.

Also, along the same lines, Dewey asks, “Why is there repulsion when the high achievements of fine art are brought into connection with common life, the life that we share with all living creatures? Why is life thought of as an affair of low appetite, or at its best a thing of gross sensation, and ready to sink from its best to the level of lust and harsh cruelty?” With such questions, we see how Dewey values continuity and integration of all aspects of our very human nature – mental, emotional, sensual, bodily, perceptive. He rebels against rigid dualism, setting spirit against flesh, mind against body. Applying this line of thinking to art and aesthetics, Dewey urges us to view human creativity as, ideally, involving the whole person. Unfortunately, he notes, such a holistic approach goes against the grain of our modern-day, highly-specialized, compartmentalized culture.

Yet again another aspect of continuity is linking an artist’s creation with the artist’s life as a whole. I recall reading about a court case where the judge asked great 19th century American painter James Abbott Whistler how he could charge so much for a painting since it took less than an hour to paint. Whistler replied, “Yes, but it also took a lifetime of experience.” It is this ‘lifetime of experience’ Dewey recognizes as being so important to artistic creation.

One area I find particularly fascinating is how Dewey defends abstract art against those thinkers and art critics who view abstract art as devoid of expression or overly intellectual. Dewey counters by citing how all art abstracts, for example, a painting portrays a three dimensional landscape in two dimensions. He also likens abstract art to a chemist’s abstraction of the material, visible elements of earth, water, fire and air into molecules and atoms. Another thought-provoking insight is when Dewey notes how many people in our modern world are tormented since they lack the control and technical skill to transform their powerful emotions and life experiences into a work of art in any form.

On the universality of art and aesthetic experience, we read, “In the end, works of art are the only media of complete and unhindered communication that can occur in a world full of gulfs and walls that limit community of experience.” So, for Dewey, unlike politics and religion, subjects that have a tendency to cut people off from one another, painting and sculpture, music and dance, theater and literature and other forms of art provide us with a great opportunity to connect with other people and share our common humanity. Certainly, what we have going on with Goodreads is an excellent example of Dewey’s philosophy.

( )
1 vote GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
http://book.naver.com/bookdb/book_detail.nhn?bid=183977
경험으로서의 예술(책세상문고 고전의 세계 25)
8.67 | 네티즌리뷰 4건
존 듀이 저 |이재언 역 |책세상 |2003.01.30
원제 Art as experience
페이지 162|ISBN 9788970133867|도서관 소장 정보 국립중앙도서관
판형 B6, 128*188mm
정가 5,900원
  leese | Jan 17, 2013 |
I am using these reviews to recapitulate the way reading has enriched my life; from childhood on it has provided a source of self-fulfilling experience. If I were to collect these reviews and give them a title, it might well be “My Life in Books”; a list of these books might well be headed “books that have lived in me.” In one way, the bible among these books—the one that explains how and why the others work—would be John Dewey’s Art as Experience (c1934). My copy is a well-worn, well-marked little paperback published by Capricorn Books in 1958.

John Dewey is best known as a philosopher, and this book might be read as a philosophy (Dewey would say theory) of art. He was first known, however, as an educator and an educational reformer, the apostle of “progressive education.” To me, reading this book was an education; to Dewey, writing it must have been an attempt to reform the way art, or aesthetic experience, was defined and, ultimately, taught. Rereading the book, I am struck by the first marginal statement I made about its message: It’s in chapter 3, “Having an Experience.” I think in my first reading it was at this point that the book began to speak to and for me. “An experience finds joy,” I said, in triumph, “in the pursuit as well as the final goal, in the conflict as well as the outcome.”

But looking back on the text now, I know that it spoke to my subconscious understanding (if that’s not an oxymoron) from the very beginning. The son of a carpenter and woodworker and an admirer of my brother-in-law, a radio (and eventually television) repairman, I felt my heart jump up at this first characterization of art: “The intelligent mechanic engaged in his job, interested in doing well and finding satisfaction in his handiwork, caring for his materials and tools with genuine affection, is artistically engaged.” Here, here! I must have thought. This sentence is preceded by a quotation from Coleridge about the reader of poetry; I knew he was speaking of the reader in me: “The reader should be carried forward, not merely or chiefly by the mechanical impulse of curiosity, nor by a restless desire to arrive at the final solution, but by the pleasurable activity of the journey itself.”

Having now reached an age when memory fails me more and more often, especially memory of recent events (and of what I’ve just read), I have had to adjust to reading that is no longer so much the intellectual pursuit that it once was. Having retired from my life as a teacher, one who always harvested passages from texts I was reading to be used with students, I have had to adjust to reading that is no longer similarly practical or utilitarian. I read more slowly now and digress more often, but the stack of books I want to read, or re-read, keeps growing and growing. Why? Because reading is still an esthetic pleasure—just as much so as when I first discovered Tom Sawyer all those years ago or first identified with both Goldilocks and the littlest bear, or returned to Joseph and his coat of many colors so many times that I almost committed that story to memory.

I am what I read; what I read, at least for the time being, lives in me.

All experience, Dewey maintains, transforms the interaction of one’s inner self with something external into genuine participation and communication. The esthetic experience, Dewey says, “is the clarified and intensified development of traits that belong to every normally complete experience.” Active participation and communication. Clarity and intensity. To read esthetically, no matter what the text, is to be more alive, to become more one’s self. The antonym of “esthetic” is “anesthetic.” The rivals of the esthetic are not intellect or practicality, but rather “the humdrum; slackness of loose ends; submission to convention in practice and intellectual procedure,” Dewey contends. “Rigid abstinence, coerced submission, tightness on one side and dissipation, incoherence and aimless indulgence on the other, are deviations in opposite directions from the unity of an experience.” Coerced submission to Paradise Lost or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” in an English classroom not only does not guarantee an esthetic experience; it is likely to interfere.

The esthetic, however, is not passive or merely acquiescent; it is not a cozy, relaxed receptiveness. If I see a movie or watch television only to escape from the tensions and conflicts of everyday life, it will not likely result in an esthetic experience. To achieve what James Joyce called an “epiphany” or what Coleridge referred to as the “balance and reconciliation of opposites” is to engage the intellect, the emotions, and the imagination in a full, unified experience. All of Art as Experience might be read as Dewey’s comment on these lines from Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn”:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”

“It was in moments of most intense esthetic perception that Keats found his utmost solace and his deepest convictions,” Dewey says. To experience beauty that is truth, or wisdom, he continues, one must enter into a state in which one “accepts life and experience and turns that experience upon itself to deepen and intensify its own qualities—to imagination and art. This is the philosophy of Shakespeare and Keats.”

In his book, Dewey proceeds to discuss in detail the creation of and response to expressive objects, the form and substance of the arts, the philosophic challenge of aesthetics, criticism and perception, and art and civilization. He concludes with a brief consideration of art and morality, relying on apt quotations from Shelley. For example, “A man to be greatly good must imagine intensely and comprehensively.” But to achieve that level of the experience of art, one must understand that art goes well beyond “the pleasuring of an idle moment or as a means of ostentatious display.” The work of great prophets begins, he would insist, in poetry, in free verse and parable. That is the highest morality. Only when it is reduced to a set of rules, to simplistic moralism, does it lose its esthetic dimension—and its ultimate moral power.
2 vote bfrank | Jul 14, 2007 |
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Art as Experience evolved from John Dewey's Willam James Lectures, delivered at Harvard University from February to May 1931. In his Introduction, Abraham Kaplan places Dewey's philosophy of art within the context of his pragmatism. Kaplan demonstrates in Dewey's esthetic theory his traditional "movement from a dualism to a monism" and discusses whether Dewey's viewpoint is that of the artist, the respondent, or the critic.

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