Art’s False “Ease”: Form, Meaning and a Problematic Pedagogy

Studies in Philosophy and Education 33 (4):433-450 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper argues that in foregoing the questions that emerge from the dialectical relationship between form and meaning, an intrinsic fallacy mistakes the relationship between the arts and education for a simplistic mechanism of signification—a false “ease”—where empty forms are supposedly given meaning by ethical and aesthetic givens as if the pedagogy of art were analogous to an empty room that was (or still needs to be) inhabited. Art’s false “ease” presents a tautology that presumes the relationship between the arts and learning on assumptions that force a false equivalence between (a) the perception of implicit causes that constitute a number of externalised artistic attributes (such as creative, critical, and intuitive forms of thinking and making) by which the arts are instrumentalised, and (b) a number of desired effects that are seen as being equal to the relative value that an arts subject (or discipline) commands in a perceived relationship with the world in terms of its use and therefore function. To counter this distortion this paper makes a case for a pedagogical aesthetics that would unlearn—and thereby exit—the educationalist tautology of art’s false ease. While politically this would mean that the arts are recognized in their ability to think and act outside the traditional notion of schooling as a walled polis, philosophically this represents a challenge to move arts education away from the “spatial” concepts by which dialectical narratives, such as those of form and content, have been hitherto assumed as constructivist signifiers

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Citations of this work

Response to Walter Gershon’s Review of Art’s Way Out.John Baldacchino - 2014 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 (1):109-113.

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945/1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Art as Experience.John Dewey - 2005 - Penguin Books.

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