Aesthetica and eudaimonia: Education for flourishing must include the arts

Journal of Philosophy of Education 56 (2):238-250 (2022)
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Abstract

The point of education is to support students to be able to live meaningful, autonomous lives, filled with rich experiences. The arts and aesthetic education are vital to such flourishing lives in that they afford bold, beautiful, moving experiences of awe, wonder and the sublime that are connected to the central human functional capability Nussbaum labels senses, imagination and thought. Everyone ought to have the opportunity to learn about art, to appreciate and create art, to critique art and to understand how we are connected to the culture of our society. A life without art is unimaginable, and to the extent that people lack aesthetic experiences, their lives are impoverished, not ‘fully human’. Given that the distinctive value of art objects is that they afford aesthetic experience, it is upon this foundation that an argument ought to be mounted as to why schooling needs the arts, specialised teachers, and all students deserve aesthetic education. Therefore, in this paper, I offer a defence of compulsory aesthetic education across the curriculum on the basis of the aesthetic experiences the arts afford, and the central role such experiences play in eudaimonia—the flourishing life.

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Laura D'Olimpio
University of Birmingham

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References found in this work

Everyday Aesthetics.Yuriko Saito - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle - 1951 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 143:477-478.

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