This book explores the writings of philosopher and educator John Dewey in order to develop an expansive vision of aesthetic education and everyday poetics of living. Robert Pirsig's best-selling book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, provides concrete examples of this compelling yet unconventional vision.
Due to its considerable length, this article is being published in two parts. This first part briefly discusses the intriguing relationship between John Dewey and Albert Barnes, as well as the circumstances behind the creation of the Barnes Foundation and its innovative art-education programs. This is followed by examination of the prominent roles of aesthetic formalism and organic unity in Barnes's writings about the arts and their less technical, more contextual positioning in Dewey's aesthetics. To end Part 1 of the (...) article, a similar dynamic is revealed in Barnes's and Dewey's ultimately disparate understandings of the relationship between form and content in the arts.In its heyday during the first part of the... (shrink)
This article discusses what David Berliner (2005) has called the perverse ?spectacle of fear? (208) surrounding issues of teacher quality and accountability in contemporary school reform. Drawing principally on the critical semiotics of Roland Barthes' essay, ?The World of Wrestling? (1957), it examines the way that this spectacle works to undermine public education and explicates the powerful mythology behind it. The article then concludes with some suggestions on how this destructive ?spectacle of fear? might potentially be disrupted using the agencies (...) of Deweyan ?strong democracy? (shrink)
Due to its considerable length, this article has been published in two parts. Part 1, which appeared in the previous issue of the journal, discussed the intriguing relationship between John Dewey and Albert Barnes, as well as the circumstances behind the creation of the Barnes Foundation and its art education programs. Following this, it established both areas of convergence and divergence in Barnes’s and Dewey’s understandings of aesthetic formalism, organic unity, and form and content in the arts. Part 2 now (...) builds on these findings to explore important differences in their respective treatments of the significant sociocultural context of art. After returning briefly to the question of aesthetic formalism in... (shrink)
The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that "The human body is the best picture of the human soul."1 There is a basic truth in this assertion that we recognize (I want to say) intuitively: the notion that human beings are parts both mental and physical, that these facets are ultimately interdependent, and that they are in some measure correlated was a commonplace in the intellectual culture of ancient Athens, especially among Socratic thinkers. It can also be found as a central (...) part of the basic ontology and ideals of self-cultivation espoused in much East Asian philosophy. In the West, however, this deep appreciation for the relationship between mind and body appears somewhat sporadically after the .. (shrink)
The world of John Dewey scholarship recently lost one of its most thoughtful contributors, and teachers of all kinds lost one of their most passionate and committed advocates. Philip W. Jackson was born in 1928 in Vineland, New Jersey, a locale known historically for its excellent grape-growing soil and veterinarian Arthur Goldhaft’s famous pledge to “put a chicken in every pot.” Jackson’s adoptive parents were, appropriately enough, chicken farmers, and, as the story goes, they noticed early on his indisputable knack (...) for singing and poetry recitation. Feeling very at home on the stage, the plucky six-year-old even tried his hand as a vaudevillian, performing a snake charmer act between reels at.. (shrink)
This carefully-researched book offers a dynamic and expansive Deweyan vision for the arts and education. This (re)vision acknowledges the influence on Dewey's aesthetics of art collector and educator Albert Barnes, while also exploring the various ways Dewey's writings on the arts, in moving beyond Barnes' "scientific aesthetic method," were an important resource for many innovative twentieth-century American artists, art movements, and arts-related educational institutions. Neither Barnes' influence on Dewey nor the features of Dewey's naturalistic aesthetics that made his Art as (...) Experience a favorite text of many artists and arts practitioners have been fully and adequately acknowledged in existing literature on Dewey's thinking about the arts and education. This book effectively remedies that situation. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Somaesthetics and Racism:Toward an Embodied Pedagogy of DifferenceDavid A. Granger (bio)IntroductionThe philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that "The human body is the best picture of the human soul."1 There is a basic truth in this assertion that we recognize (I want to say) intuitively: the notion that human beings are parts both mental and physical, that these facets are ultimately interdependent, and that they are in some measure correlated (...) was a commonplace in the intellectual culture of ancient Athens, especially among Socratic thinkers. It can also be found as a central part of the basic ontology and ideals of self-cultivation espoused in much East Asian philosophy. In the West, however, this deep appreciation for the relationship between mind and body appears somewhat sporadically after the Socratics, only to be fervently reasserted as a main plank in the lived philosophy of the early American pragmatists, as when Henry David Thoreau proclaimed that "We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins to refine a mean's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them."2I use the word "sporadically" above because it is likewise a basic truism that canonical Western philosophy has a long and storied history of rejecting, ignoring, or degrading the human body—that most formative part of our being and connection to the world and to others. The position of the later, more metaphysical Plato is iconic in this regard, and it effectively set the tone for much Christian theology and the Cartesian philosophy of consciousness. For Plato and his adherents, the longing to escape our embodiedness, conceived as a necessary means to human (or perhaps superhuman) perfection [End Page 69] by achieving a godlike existence, requires effectively divorcing ourselves from the irrational brutes of terra firma. The body is conceived as a static constraint to human flourishing rather than a dynamic enabler. It is more or less an adversary, something that we must endeavor to be freed from or subdue.3 Its base senses and unruly passions deceive us epistemologically, while its inexorable power to situate us in space and time limits our objectivity. In its inevitable pains and infirmities, the body is also a constant reminder of the aging process and of our ultimate mortality. Deeming the body as at best a mere servant of the mind, philosophers typically have portrayed it as a veritable prison of deception, temptation, and suffering. Moreover, it is well-established that such thinking has been particularly pernicious in light of the historical identification of women and other marginalized groups with their variously enfeebled, depraved, or uncivilized bodies.4Against this disquieting backdrop, it is only relatively recently that the human body, and the significance of our existence as embodied beings, has received sustained positive attention by leading lights in Western philosophy and criticism. These luminaries include, among others, "feminist" thinkers like Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and, of late, Susan Bordo and Judith Butler (with a nod to Michel Foucault, Pierre Bordeau, and others); pragmatists William James and John Dewey (with a nod to Emerson and Thoreau); phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty (with a nod to Jean-Paul Sartre); analytic philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (with a nod to James); and postmodernist Michel Foucault (with a nod to Friedrich Nietzsche, George Bataille, and the ancient Asian ars erotica tradition5). While these thinkers do not universally praise the body and its active, conscious cultivation for human flourishing (about which more later), they nonetheless acknowledge its necessity for all perception, action, and even thought.6 In short, they all seek to recognize and elucidate the significance—cognitive and affective, discursive and nondiscursive—of our full embodied intelligence.Looking specifically at the architectonics of the body espoused by the trio of Dewey, Foucault, and Wittgenstein, this article uses what philosopher Richard Shusterman terms "analytic somaesthetics" to examine some of the primary embodied dimensions of feeling, perception, action, and thought, particularly through the functioning of habit.7 In doing so, it seeks to expose the way various ideologies of domination (for example, racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, ageism, etc.) are covertly (and at times overtly) materialized... (shrink)