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4/4/2017 Dewey'sAesthetics(StanfordEncyclopediaofPhilosophy)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Dewey'sAesthetics
FirstpublishedFriSep29,2006substantiverevisionMonFeb8,2016

JohnDeweyiswellknownforhisworkinlogic,scientificinquiry,andphilosophyofeducation.Hisfameis
basedlargelyonhismembershipintheschoolofAmericanPragmatistsofwhichCharlesSandersPeirceand
WilliamJamesweretheleadingearlyfigures.Hehasalsohadagreatdealofinfluenceinaestheticsandthe
philosophyofart.HisworkArtasExperience(1934)isregardedbymanyasoneofthemostimportant
contributionstothisareainthe20thcentury.Yetitisnotaswidelydiscussedasthatevaluationwould
indicate.Thereareseveralreasonsforthis.

First,althoughDeweyseemstowriteinanalmostfolksystyle,hisphilosophicalproseisoftendifficultand
dense.Second,thebookearlyonhadthemisfortuneofreceivingtworeviewsthatnegativelyimpactedits
reception.Thefirst,byanavowedfollower,StephenPepper,complainedthatitwasnottrulypragmatistand
thatDeweyhadrevertedtoanearlierHegelianism(Pepper1939).Thesecond,byBenedettoCroce,seemed
toconfirmthis(Croce1948).Croce,widelyseenasHegelianhimself,sawsomanysimilaritiesbetween
Dewey'sworkandhisownthatheaccusedDeweyofliftinghisideas.Dewey(1948)insistedotherwise,but
thesensethattherewassomethingtooHegelianinArtasExperienceremained.Thisdidnotstopmany
philosophers,educators,andotherintellectualsfromproducingworksinaesthetictheorythatwerestrongly
influencedbyDewey.EvenbeforeArtasExperienceDewey'swritingsonaestheticsandartinfluenced,and
wereinfluencedby,suchwritersas:MaryMullen(1923),whotaughtseminarsonaestheticsandwas
AssociateDirectorofEducationfortheBarnesFoundationLawrenceBuermeyer(1924),whowasanother
AssociateDirectorofEducationattheBarnesFoundationAlbertBarnes(1928)andThomasMunro(1928).
Afterthebook'spublicationhisfollowersincludedIrwinEdman(1939),StephenPepper(1939,1945,1953),
HoraceKallen(1942),ThomasMunroagain(numerousbooks)andVanMeterAmes(1947,1953).Art
historianMeyerSchapirowasoneofhisstudents.

However,inthe1950stherewasananalyticrevolutioninEnglishspeakingaesthetics.Prioraesthetic
theorieswereconsideredtobetoospeculativeandunclear.Dewey'sworkwascaughtupinthis
condemnation.ArnoldIsenberg(1987,orig.1950)forinstance,inafoundingdocumentofanalytic
aesthetics,dismissedArtasExperienceasahodgepodgeofconflictingmethodsandundisciplined
speculations,(p.128)althoughhefounditfullofprofoundsuggestions.Dewey'stheoriesofexpressionand
creativitywereparticulartargetsofanalyticattack.Dewey'swasamongtheviewssingledoutinageneral
critiqueofexpressionasadefiningcharacteristicofart,althoughoftenhisowndistinctivetheorywas
ignoredintheprocess.Asituationfollowed,andcontinuedwellintothe1980s,inwhich,accordingtoone
editorofTheJournalofAestheticsandArtCriticism,Dewey'saestheticswasvirtuallyignored(Fisher1989).
WhileMonroeBeardsley,oneofthemostimportantlate20thcenturyaestheticians,keptaninterestin
Deweyalive(1958,1975,1982),particularlyinhisdiscussionsofaestheticexperience,othermajorfigures,
includingArthurDanto,MaryMothersillandRichardWollheim,completelyignoredhim.NelsonGoodman
maybeapartialexception(Freeland2001).GoodmancertainlysharedwithDeweyaconvictionthatartand
sciencearecloseinmanywaysand,likeDewey,hereplacedthequestionwhatisart?withwhenisart?
Theyalsobothtookanaturalistapproachtothearts.However,Goodman,whoneverreferstoDeweyinhis
LanguagesofArt(1976),sawartintermsoflanguagesandothersymbolsystems,whereasDeweysawitin
termsofexperience.JosephMargolis(1980)isperhapsthemostimportantcontemporaryaesthetician
comingoutoftheanalyticschooltotakeDeweyseriously,havinganaturalaffinitytopragmatistwaysof
thought.HisideathatworksofartareculturallyemergentbutphysicallyembodiedentitiesisDeweyanin
spirit,asishisinsistenceonarobustrelativisttheoryofinterpretation.However,Margolisseldomrefersto
Deweyand,althoughhebelieveshimselfclosertoDewey'sHegelianismthantoPeirce'sKantianism,he
findsPeircemoreinteresting.HealsofaultsDeweyfornotbeinganhistoricist(1999).Another
contemporaryAmericanaesthetician,ArnoldBerleant,hascontinuouslydevelopedthemessimilarto
Dewey's,forexample,inhisconceptsoftheaestheticfieldandengagement.(1970,1991).

1.Introduction
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2.ArtasExperience
2.1TheLiveCreature
2.2TheLiveCreatureandEtherialThings
2.3HavinganExperience
2.4TheActofExpression
2.5TheExpressiveObject
2.6SubstanceandForm
2.7NaturalHistoryofForm
2.8OrganizationofEnergies
2.9TheCommonSubstanceoftheArts
2.10TheVariedSubstanceoftheArts
2.11TheHumanContribution
2.12TheChallengetoPhilosophy
2.13CriticismandPerception
2.14ArtandCivilization
3.CriticalReactions
Bibliography
PrimarySources
SecondarySources
AcademicTools
OtherInternetResources
RelatedEntries

1.Introduction
TherelativelackofinterestinDeweychangedforseveralreasonsinthelate1970s.First,RichardRorty
turnedanalyticphilosophyonitsheadbyadvocatingareturntopragmatism(Rorty1979,1982).Inthis,
Deweywasoneofhisavowedheroes.Unfortunately,RortywasnotaclosereaderofDewey'saesthetics.
TheSocietyfortheAdvancementofAmericanPhilosophyalongwiththeirpublication,TheJournalof
SpeculativePhilosophy,aswellastheCenterforDeweyStudiesalsocontributedtothisrevival.Deweywas
furtherpromotedinaestheticsthroughtheworkofRichardShusterman(1992,1997a,2000)whowentsofar
astoadvocateapragmatistaesthetics,withDeweyashismainchampion.Heparticularlyemphasizedthe
possibilitiesoftreatingpopularartasfineartwithhiswellknownexampleofrapasfineart.Healso
extendedaestheticsintotherealmofeverydaylifethroughhisconceptofsomaesthetics.Thisstrandof
proDeweyanthinkinghasalsobeenrecentlypursuedbyCrispinSartwellinresponsetomulticulturalism
andeverydayaesthetics(Sartwell1995,2003)andbyYurikoSaito(Saito2007)inherefforttoextend
aestheticstoeverydaylife.Dewey'saestheticsfinallyreceivedanexcellentexpositionintheworkofThomas
Alexander(Alexander1987).Alexanderdevelopedhisideasfurtherinabookonecoontologyandthe
aestheticsofexistence(Alexander2013).MarkJohnsondevelopedDewey'santidualismandtheaesthetics
ofhumanunderstanding(Johnson2007).Meanwhile,therehasbeenasteadyinterestinDewey'saesthetics
inthephilosophyofeducation,witharticlesappearingonaregularbasisinsuchpublicationsastheJournal
ofAestheticEducationandStudiesinthePhilosophyofEducationandseveralbooks(Jackson1998,
Garrison1997,Greene2001,Maslak2006,Granger2006a).

Dewey'srenewedinfluencewasdueinparttoincreasedinterestinvariouscontinentalaestheticians.The
similaritiesbetweenDeweyandMerleauPontyarethemoststriking(Ames1953,Kestenbaum1977),buthe
alsosharescertainfeatureswithGadamer(Gilmour1987,whoalsonotesimportantdifferences,andJeannot
2001).Givenhiscritiqueofcapitalism,onecanalsofindconnectionsbetweenhisthinkingandthatof
Marxistaestheticians,particularlyAdorno(Lysaker1998),althoughthereareimportantdifferencesaswell
assimilarities,especiallywhereAdornoadvocatestheautonomyofartwhileDeweystressescontinuity
(Lewis2005,Eldridge2010).SomecontemporaryfeministaestheticianshavecometorealizethatDewey
sharesmanyoftheirconcerns,forexampletheirrejectionofmind/bodydualism,theirdemocraticinstincts,
theircontextualism,andtheirtendencytobreakdowntraditionaldistinctions(Seigfried1996b,Duran2001).
TherehasalsobeensomeworkonmarkedsimilaritiesbetweenDewey'saestheticthoughtandthatofTaoism
(Grange2001),TranscendentalMeditation(Zigler1982),Dogen'sversionofZen(Earls1992),thegreat
Indianaesthetician,Abhinavagupta(Mathur1981),theBhagavadGita(Stroud2009),andConfucius
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(Shusterman2009,Man2007,Mullis2005,Grange2004).Alexanderhasrecentlydiscussedrelations
betweenDeweyandEasternAestheticsgenerally(Alexander2009)

AninterestingaspectofDewey'swriting,andperhapsanotherreasonforthelackofongoingpositive
reception,washislackofstronginterestinthehistoryofaesthetics.Heseldomexplicatedorcritiquedthe
aestheticworksofothers.Althoughfullofquotations,ArtasExperienceoriginallylackedadequate
footnotes.(Fortunately,therecentBoydstoneditiontracksdownallquotations,andevennoteswhichbooks
wereinDewey'slibrary.)PoetsfigureasstronglyinDewey'sreadinglistasphilosophers,especially
Coleridge,Housman,Keats,Poe,ShakespeareandWordsworth.Visualartistsareoftenquoted,especially
Cezanne,Constable,Delacroix,Manet,Matisse(whomhemet),Reynolds,andVanGogh.Asfor
philosophers,hewasofcourseawareoftheworkofPlatoandAristotle.YetinArtasExperiencehenever
mentionsHume'saesthetics,Hegelreceivesonlyonecitation(surprisingly,giventheaccusationthatDewey
wastooHegelian),andNietzschenone.Kant,however,playsanimportantroleasanopponent,and
Schopenhauerreceivesafewmentions.Amongstcontemporaries,hereferencesMatthewArnold,CliveBell,
BernardBosanquet,AndrewBradley,BenedettoCroce,RogerFry,ThomasHulme,VioletPaget(whowrote
underthenameVernonLee),WalterPater,GeorgeSantayana,HippolyteTaine,andLeoTolstoy.

SinceDeweywasapragmatistitisworthwhiletolookforantecedentsinthattradition(seeShusterman
2006b).AstrongcasecanbemadeformanyparallelswithEmerson,whommanyseeasaprotopragmatist.
CharlesS.PeircealsotouchedonthemesmorefamiliarinDewey,forexamplethecontinuityofaesthetics
andethics.AlthoughWilliamJamesdidnotwriteinaesthetics,hispsychologicalviewshadastrong
influenceonDewey'saesthetics.AlainLocke,theAfricanAmericanphilosopherandpragmatistculture
theorist,probablyhadsomeinfluenceaswell.

Otherimportantthinkersofthe19thandearly20thcenturiesalsoinfluencedDewey.Hisideaofthelive
creatureinteractingwithitsenvironmentowesmuchtoCharlesDarwin(Perricone2006),andalthoughhe
nevercitesKarlMarx,perhapsbecausehewassocommittedinhispubliclifetodefendingananti
communistformofsocialliberalism,hisviewsontherelationbetweenartandsocietywereverycloseto
thoseofMarx,especiallytheyoungMarx.AnotherfigurehoveringinthebackgroundwasSigmundFreud
for,althoughDeweyissometimescriticalofFreud'shypostatizationofentitieswithintheunconscious,inArt
asExperiencehegivessubconsciousprocessesasignificantroleinthecreativeprocess.

AlbertC.Barnes,theindustrialistandcollector,wasDewey'sstrongestinfluenceinaesthetics.Thetwowere
closefriends,andDeweywasamemberofthestaffoftheBarnesFoundationofwhichhewasnamed
Directorin1925(BarnesFoundation2011).Barnes,whotookaseminarunderDeweyin1917,avidly
advocatedDewey'sformofpragmatism.Heconsideredhimselfastrongdefenderofdemocracy,although
ironically,hemadeitverydifficultforpeopletoseehisownextensivecollectionandwasthoughtbysome
tobeauthoritarianinhisformalisttheoriesofappreciation.DeweynotonlyquotesextensivelyfromBarnes'
writingsbutdedicatesArtasExperiencetohim.ManyoftheillustrationsinDewey'sbookcamefromthe
Barnescollection.

Deweywasaheadofhistimeinhisdevotiontomulticulturalism.TheselectionofillustrationsDeweychose
forArtasExperienceincludedPuebloIndianpottery,Bushmenrockpainting,Scythianornament,and
Africansculpture,aswellasworksbyElGreco,Renoir,CezanneandMatisse.Hewasinterestedin
traditionalandfolkartsinMexico,admiringthedesignsoftheruralschoolsoverthoseofthecities(1926c).
Hewasalsoassociated,mainlythroughBarnes,withAfricanAmericanculture.Barneswasinvitedtowrite
achapterforTheNewNegroeditedbyAlainLocke(Locke1925).TheNewNegrowasoneofthefounding
documentsoftheHarlemRenaissance.ThestudentsinDewey'sandBarnes'firstexperimentalclassesinart
educationweremainlyfromtheblackworkingclass.BarnescollectedAfricanAmericanartandalso
encouragedAfricanAmericanstudentstostudyattheBarnesFoundation.AfricanAmericanpainterand
illustratorAaronDouglas,whocametothefoundationin1927,studiedinParisin1931underaFoundation
fellowship(Jubilee1982).BarnesalsohadalongassociationwithLincolnUniversity,ahistoricallyblack
college,manystudentsofwhichstudiedattheBarnesFoundation(Hollingsworth1994).Deweywasalso
oneofthefoundingmembersoftheNAACP(NationalAssociationfortheAdvancementofColoredPeople).
DeweyalsosoughttopromotecrossculturalunderstandingthroughhisfoundingoftheChinaInstitutein
NewYorkCityin1926.TheChinaInstitute,whichcontinuestoday,advertisesitselfastheonlyinstitutionin
thatcitytofocussolelyonChinesecivilization,artandculture.HuShih,astudentofDewey'satColumbia

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andoneoftheleadingfiguresinthecreationoftheInstitute,invitedhimtoPekingin1919.(Ho2004see
theOtherInternetResources).

AlthoughDeweywaswidelyversedinliterature,architecture,painting,sculpture,andthetheater,hewas
relativelyuneducatedinmusic,andhewassaidtobetonedeaf.Yetheoftenhadinsightfulthingstosay
aboutmusic,andmanymusiciansandmusiceducatorshavedrawninspirationfromhistheory(e.g.,Zeltner
1975).Heseemed,unfortunately,tohavebeentotallyunawareofbothphotographyandfilmasseparateart
forms.

ManywriterscomplainthatDeweyshowedlittleinterestintheavantgardeartofhistime(forexample,
Eldridge2010).ItistruethatneitherCubism,DadaismnorSurrealismplayaroleinhiswriting,andhis
theoryseemstoactuallyprecludeNonobjectivepainting(Jacobson1960),althoughhedoesspeakpositively
ofabstractart.NordidherefermuchtosuchinnovativepoetsasT.S.EliotorEzraPound.Althoughthis
mayindicateaconservativeapproachtothearts,henonethelesshadconsiderableinfluenceonvarious
innovativeartmovementsbothinhisowntimeandlater.Perhapsmostsignificantly,thedirectorofthe
FederalArtProjectfrom19351943,HolgerCahill,wasaDeweyfollower(Mavigliano1984).Amongst
painters,ThomasHartBenton,theregionalistrealist,wasanearlyconverttohisphilosophy.Deweywasalso
ontheboardofBlackMountainCollege.BMCwasinfluentialinthearts,withstudentssuchasMerce
CunninghamandJohnCage.JosefAlbers,animportantpaintingteacherthere,wasfirstinfluencedby
Dewey'seducationaltheoryandlaterbyhisaesthetics.(Gosse,2012)

InMexico,EscuelasdePinturaalAireLibre,oropenairpaintingschools,beganduringtheMexican
RevolutionandachievedanestablishedstructureunderthegovernmentofAlvaroObregon(192024).They
werepromotedbyAlfredoRamosMartinezwhowasinspiredbyDewey.(DictionaryofArtandArtist2011
seeOtherInternetResources)

Turningtolate20thcenturyartists,Dewey'sinfluenceonAbstractExpressionismwasespeciallystrong
(Buettner1975,Berube1998).Forexample,RobertMotherwell,whostudiedArtasExperiencewhenhe
wasaphilosophymajoratStanford,consideredittobeoneofhisbibles(Berube1998).DonaldJudd,the
Minimalistsculptor,readandadmiredDewey(Raskin2010).EarthArt,withitsemphasesongettingartout
ofthemuseum,mightevenbeseenasappliedDewey.ThereisalsoreasontobelievethatAllanKaprow,one
oftheoriginatorsofHappeningsandPerformanceArt,readDeweyanddrewonhisideas(Kelly2003).
AlthoughoneauthorhasarguedthatcontemporaryBodyArthasmovedawayfromtheintegrated
consummatedaestheticexperienceDeweycommends(Jay2002),anotherarguesthatDeweyanticipatesthis
movement(Brodsky2002).

Dewey'smethodologymaybeoffputtingtoreaderstrainedinanalyticphilosophy.Hewasnotmuchgiven
toargument.(SeeAldrich1944,forapartialdefenseofDewey'sphilosophicalmethod.)However,hedid
givereasonsforrejectingotherleadingtheoriesinthefield.Norwasheadversetopublicdebatein
philosophicaljournals.Givenhisemphasisonexperience,hismethodwassomewhatsimilartothatof
phenomenologistsinthetraditionofEdmundHusserl.Yet,unlikeHusserl,hewasstronglycommittedtoa
scientificworldviewanddidnotbracketscientificknowledgeinhissearchforphilosophicalunderstanding.
HisantidualismwouldhavealsomadehimhostiletoHusserl'sCartesiantendencies.Thissameantidualism
meantthathewasconstantlyengagedinundercuttingdistinctions.Itisnotsurprisingthenthathedidnot
followthemethodofcontemporaryanalyticphilosophyofprogressivelymakingmoreandmoresubtle
distinctionsinthesearchforprecisedefinition.Becauseofhisundercuttingofdistinctions,histhinkingcan
sometimesseemsimilartothedeconstructionismofJacquesDerrida(Derrida1976).However,unlike
Derrida,Deweywouldneverclaimthatthereisnothingoutsidethetext,sincethestartingpointofhis
philosophywasalwaysthelivecreatureinitsenvironment.Alsohisemphasisoncontinuityandhis
commitmenttoorganicismexhibitatypicallymodernistbeliefinharmoniouswholesthatwasnotsharedby
Derridaorbypostmodernistsgenerally.NorwouldhehaveacceptedDerrida'sonesidedinsistenceonthe
importanceofdifferencesanddeferralasfoundinhisideaofdiffrance.Deweycouldbeseenasagainst
methodifmethodisseenasrequiringcertainty,butnotifitfocusesonprobability.Hedidsharewithanalytic
philosophyatendencytobackuphispointswithappealstocommonsenseandtothemeaningsofwords.In
evaluatingDewey'smethodonemustalsotakeintoaccounthisconsideredviewsonthelogicofinquiryas
expressedinseveralbookswhichwillbereviewedinotherarticlesinthisencyclopedia.

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ArtasExperience,Dewey'sgreatestworkinaesthetics,haditsantecedents.Therewerescatteredshort
essaysandremarksonaestheticsandartinthe1880s(Dewey1896,1897)aswellassignificantdiscussionin
hisPsychology(Dewey1887).SomediscussionappearsinDemocracyandEducation(Dewey1915)andin
hisotherworksoneducation.Healsopublishedafewshortarticlesonaestheticsinthepublicationofthe
Barnesfoundationin1925and1926(Dewey1927).Deweylaidoutthebeginningsofatheoryofaesthetic
experienceinhismajorwork,ExperienceandNature(Dewey1925a).Therearealsotwoimportantessaysin
PhilosophyandCivilization(Dewey1931)thataddressaesthetics.Thesearealldescribedinthe
supplementarydocument

Dewey'sEarlyAestheticTheory.

2.ArtasExperience
Asmuchasthereisfascinatingpreliminarymaterialinhisearlierwritingstheprimarygoalofnoneofthese
wasanaestheticsoratheoryofart.Moreover,theunderstandingoftheartsinthesewritingsisrelatively
primitivecomparedtoArtasExperience.Notonlyisthedensityofthoughtandinsightinthelaterwork
muchgreater,butthewritingismuchclearer.Also,onlyinthelaterworkdowegetafullaccountofthe
phenomenologyofaestheticandartisticexperience.TheexplicationofthisbookwillfollowDewey'sown
chapterheadings.ExplicationofsomeadditionalchapterscanbefoundinAdditionalMaterialsonDewey's
Aesthetics(seethelinkinOtherInternetResources).

2.1TheLiveCreature
Deweysomewhatsurprisinglybeginsthisworkwiththeclaimthattheveryexistenceofworksofarthinders
anyaesthetictheorythatseekstounderstandthem.Artproductsexistexternallyandphysically,whereas,on
hisview,theworkofartisreallywhatthephysicalobjectdoeswithinexperience.Alsotheclassicstatusof
manyworksofartisolatesthemfromtheconditionswithinwhichtheycametobe,andhencefromtheir
experientialfunction.Thebusinessofaestheticsistorestorethecontinuitybetweentherefinedexperiences
thatareworksofartandtheexperiencesofeverydaylife.Wemust,inshort,turnawayfromartisticproducts
toordinaryexperience.TounderstandtheParthenon,whichiswidelybelievedtobeagreatworkofart,one
mustturntoculturalcontextofAthensandthelivesofthecitizenswhowereexpressingtheircivicreligion
throughitscreation.

Deweythenarguesthatwemustbeginwiththeaestheticintherawinordertounderstandtheaesthetic
refined.Todothiswemustturntotheeventsandscenesthatinterestthemaninthestreetsuchasthe
soundsandsightsofrushingfireengines,thegraceofabaseballplayer,andthesatisfactionsofahousewife.
Wefindthenthattheaestheticbeginsinhappyabsorptioninactivity,forexampleinourfascinationwitha
fireinahearthaswepokeit.Similarly,Deweyholdsthatanintelligentmechanicwhodoeshisworkwith
careisartisticallyengaged.Ifhisproductisnotaestheticallyappealingthisprobablyhasmoretodowith
marketconditionsthatencouragelowqualityworkthanwithhisabilities.

Thismovetotheeverydayentailsrecognitionoftheaestheticnatureofthepopulararts.Averagefolkmaybe
repelledbythethoughtthattheyenjoytheircasualrecreationinpartforaestheticreasons.Theydonot
realizethatwhathaslifeforthem,suchasmovies,jazz,thecomics,andsensationalnewspaperstories,isart.
Relegatingarttothemuseumcomeswithseparatingitfromtheexperiencesofeverydaylife.Fineartfailsto
appealtothemasseswhenitisremote,andsotheyseekaestheticpleasureinthevulgar.Thecauseofthis
isthecommonseparationbetweenspiritandmatter,andtheconsequentdowngradingofmatter.

Thereare,however,stillpeopleintheworldwhoadmirewhateverintensifiesimmediateexperience.
Practicesandartifactsfromtraditionalcultureswere,intheiroriginalcontexts,enhancementsofeveryday
life.Dance,pantomime,music,andarchitecturewereoriginallyconnectedwithreligiousrites,notwith
theatersandmuseums.Inprehistoricculturesthevariousartsconsummatedthemeaningofthecommunity.
Thisisalsotrueforcontemporarytraditionalcultures.

Thesegregationofartfromeverydaylifecamewiththeriseofnationalismandimperialism.TheLouvre
beganasaplacetohouseNapoleon'sloot.Theriseofcapitalism,withitsvaluationofrareandcostly

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objects,alsocontributedtothedevelopmentofthemuseum,asdidtheneedtoshowgoodtasteinan
increasinglymaterialistworld.

ForDewey,experienceshouldbeunderstoodintermsoftheconditionsoflife.Manshareswithanimals
certainbasicvitalneeds,andderivesthemeansforsatisfyingtheseneedsfromhisanimalnature.Lifegoes
onnotonlyinanenvironmentbutininteractionwiththatenvironment.Thelivecreatureusesitsorgansto
interactwiththeenvironmentthroughdefenseandconquest.Everyneedisalackofadequateadjustmentto
theenvironment,andalsoademandtorestoreadjustmentandeachrecoveryisenrichedbyresistancemet
andovercome.

Lifeovercomesandtransformsfactorsofoppositiontoachievehighersignificance.Harmonyand
equilibriumaretheresultsnotofmechanicalprocessesbutofrhythmicresolutionoftension.Therhythmic
alternationwithinthelivecreaturebetweendisunityandunitybecomesconsciousinhumans.Emotion
signifiesbreaksinexperiencewhicharethenresolvedthroughreflectiveaction.Objectsbecomeinteresting
asconditionsforrealizingharmony.Thoughtisthenincorporatedintothemastheirmeaning.

Theartist,especially,cultivatesresistanceandtensiontoachieveaunifiedexperience.Bycontrast,although
thescientist,liketheartist,isinterestedinproblems,shealwaysseekstomoveontothenextproblem.Yet
bothartistandscientistareconcernedwiththesamematerials,boththink,andbothhavetheiraesthetic
moments.Theaestheticmomentforthescientisthappenswhenherthoughtbecomesembeddedasmeaning
intheobject.Theartist'sthoughtismoreimmediatelyembodiedintheobjectassheworksandthinksinher
medium.

Emotionsarenotmerelyinthemind.Theliveanimalconfrontsanaturewhichalreadyhasemotional
qualities.Aspectsofnaturemaybe,forexample,irritatingorcomforting.Naturehassuchqualitieseven
beforeithasmathematicalorsecondaryqualities.Directexperienceisafunctionofman/natureinteractionin
whichhumanenergyisconstantlytransformed.

Aestheticexperienceinvolvesadramainwhichaction,feeling,andmeaningareone.Theresultisbalance.
Suchexperiencewouldnotoccurinaworldofmerefluxinwhichtherewasnocumulativechange.Nor
woulditoccurinaworldthatisfinished,forthentherewouldbenoresolutionorfulfillment.Itisonly
possibleinaworldinwhichthelivebeinglosesandreestablishesequilibriumwithitsenvironment.

Passingfromdisturbancetoharmonyprovidesman'smostintenseexperience.Happinessistheresultofa
deepfulfillmentinwhichourwholebeinghasadjustedtotheenvironment.Anysuchconsummationisalsoa
newbeginning.Inhappiness,anunderlyingharmonycontinuesthroughtherhythmicphasesofconflictand
resolution.Deweycontrastsalifeinwhichthepastisaburdentoonethatseesitasaresourcethatcanbe
usedtoinformthepresent.Inthisinstance,thefutureisapromisethatsurroundsthepresentasanaura.
Happyperiods,inwhichmemoriesandanticipationsareabsorbedintothepresent,areanaestheticideal.Art
celebratesthesemomentswithpeculiarintensity.

Deweyheldthatthesourcesofaestheticexperiencearetofoundinsubhumananimallife.Animalsoften
attainaunityofexperiencethatweloseinourfragmentedworklives.Theliveanimalisfullypresentwith
allitssensesactive,especiallywhenitisgraceful.Itsynthesizespastandfutureinthepresent.Similarly,
tribalmanismostalivewhenmostobservantandfilledwithenergy.Hedoesnotseparateobservation,
action,andforesight.Hissensesarenotmerepathwaysforstorage.Rather,theypreparehimforthoughtand
action.Experiencesignifiesheightenedlifeandactiveengagementwiththeworld.Initshighestformit
involvesanidentificationofselfandworld.Suchexperienceisthebeginningofart.

2.2TheLiveCreatureandEtherialThings
Theoristshaveoftensupposedthatetherealmeaningsandvaluesareinaccessibletosense.Thispresupposes
anature/spiritdualismwhichDeweyrejects.Thatpeoplecommonlyresistconnectingfineartandeveryday
lifeisexplainedbythecurrentdisorganizationofourculturallives.Thisdisorderishiddenbytheapparent
orderofsocialclassesandthecompartmentalizationoflifeinwhichreligion,morals,politicsandartallhave
separatedomains.Inthisstatepracticeandinsight,aswellasimaginationanddoing,arekeptseparate.

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Deweythoughtthattheeconomicinstitutionsofhistime(1930stheDepression)encouragedthese
separations.Undertheseconditions,sensationsaremeremechanicalstimulithatdonottellusanythingabout
therealitybehindthem,andthevarioussensesoperateinisolationfromeachother.Moralists,atleast,see
senseascloselyrelatedtoemotionandappetite.Unfortunately,theyseethesensuousasidenticalwiththe
sensual,andthesensualwiththelewd.

Thesenseorgansarecarriedtotheirfullrealizationthroughsenseitself,i.e.,throughmeaningembodiedin
experience.Theworldismadeactualinthequalitiessoexperienced.Here,meaningcannotbeseparated
fromaction,will,orthought.Experienceisnotonlytheresultofinteractionofsubjectandworld,butalso
thesubject'srewardwhenittransformsinteractionintoparticipation.Dualismsofmindandbody,bycontrast
comefromafearoflife.

Deweythinksitimportantheretodistinguishmererecognitionfromperception.Recognitionusesmatteras
means.Perception,bycontrast,entailsthepastbeingcarriedintothepresenttoenrichitscontent.Alifethat
involvesmerelylabelingthingsisnotreallyconscious.Theconsciousactivityofmandevelopsoutofa
cooperationofinternalneedsandexternalmaterialsthatresultsinaculminatingevent.Manconvertscause
andeffectintomeansandend,andtherebymakesorganicstimulationthebearerofmeaning.

Ratherthanreducingthehumantotheanimal,Deweyholdsthatmantakestheunityofsenseandimpulseof
animallifeandinfusesitwithconsciousmeaningthroughcommunication.Humanismorecomplexthan
animallife:forhumanstherearemoreopportunitiesforresistanceandtension,forinvention,andfordepth
ofinsightandfeeling.Therhythmsofstruggleandconsummationaremorevariedandlonglasting,andthe
fulfillmentsaremoreintense.

Spaceandtimearealsodifferent.Forhumans,spaceisnotjustavoidfilledwithdangersandopportunities.
Itisascenefortheirdoingsandundergoings.Time,also,isnotamerecontinuum,butanorganizedmedium
oftherhythmsofimpulseandtheprocessesofgrowth.Theseinvolvepausesandcompletionsthat
themselvesbeginnewdevelopmentalprocesses.Itisforminartthatmakescleartheorganizationofspace
andtimeinlifeexperience.

Inart,manusesthematerialsandenergiesofnaturetoexpandlife.Artisproofthatmancanconsciously
restoretheunionofsensation,needs,andactionsfoundinanimallife.Consciousnessaddsregulation,
selectionandvariationtothisprocess.Theideaofartis,then,humanity'sgreatestaccomplishment.The
Greeksdistinguishedorderfrommatter,andmanfromtherestofnature,bywayofart.Art,forthem,was
theguidingidealforhumankind.ForDewey,historically,sciencewasdevelopedasameanstogenerate
otherarts,andultimatelyitisonlytheirhandmaiden.

Althoughitissometimeshelpfultodistinguishbetweenfineandusefulart,Deweythinksthisextrinsictoart
itself.Whatmakestheworkfineisthattheartistlivedfullywhileproducingit.Fineartinvolves
completenessoflivinginperceptionandmaking.Whetherthethingisputtouseisirrelevant.Thatmost
utensilstodayarenonaestheticisbecauseoftheunhappyconditionsoftheirproductionandconsumption.

Deweythoughtthatthosewhorejectthecontinuitybetweeneverydayexperienceandfineartfailtoseethat
matterisneededtorealizeideals.Natureisman'shabitat,andcultureenduresbecausemenfindasupportfor
itinnature.Cultureresultsfromprolonged,cumulativeinteractionwiththeenvironment.Wedeeplyrespond
toartbecauseofitsconnectionwithbothculturalandnaturalexperience.

Ratherthangivingartprimacyinaesthetic,Deweybelievesthathumansonlyfeelproperlyalivewhen
absorbingtheaestheticfeaturesofnature.Aestheticexperienceofthenaturalenvironmentcaneventakethe
formofecstaticcommunion.Thisisduetoancienthabitsgainedintherelationsbetweenthelivingbeing
anditsenvironment.Sensuousexperiencecanabsorbintoitselfmeaningsandvaluesthataredesignated
idealorspiritual.Deweyobservesthatbeliefthatnatureisfullofspiritsiscloselytiedtopoetry.The
sensuoussurfacesofthingsincorporatenotonlywhatisgivenbythesensesbutthemostprofoundinsight.
Manyoftheartsoriginateinprimitiveritualswhichwerenotsimplyintendedasmeanstogetrain,etc.,but
fortheenhancementofexperience.Similarlymythwasnotjustanearlyformofscience.

Deweyconcludesthattheideaofthesupernaturalismoreafunctionofthepsychologythatgeneratesworks
ofartthanofscienceorphilosophy.Thiscanbeseenbythesolemnprocessionsandotherartistic
phenomenainchurches.KeatsfamouslywroteBeautyistruth,truthbeautythatisallyeknowonearth,
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andallyeneedtoknow.Deweyagreesthatanyreasoningthatexcludesimaginationandtheembodimentof
ideasinemotionallychargedsensecannotreachtruth.ForKeats,truthmeantwisdom,whichinturnmeant
trustinthegood.Allweneedtoknowthenistheinsightofimaginationexemplifiedinbeauty.Itisnot
surprisingthenthatmomentsofintenseaestheticperceptionwereKeats'sultimatesolace.Thephilosophyof
Keats,sharedbyDewey,acceptslifewithallitsuncertaintyandturnsthatexperienceintoart.

2.3HavinganExperience
ThischapterisDewey'smostfamouswritinginaesthetics.Herehedefinestheimportantconceptofan
experience.Anexperienceisoneinwhichthematerialofexperienceisfulfilledorconsummated,asfor
examplewhenaproblemissolved,oragameisplayedtoitsconclusion.Deweycontraststhiswithinchoate
experienceinwhichwearedistractedanddonotcompleteourcourseofaction.Anexperience,isalso
markedofffromotherexperiences,containingwithinitselfanindividualizingquality.Deweybelieveshis
talkofanexperienceisinaccordwitheverydayusage,eventhoughitiscontrarytothewayphilosophers
talkaboutexperience.ForDewey,lifeisacollectionofhistories,eachwiththeirownplots,inceptions,
conclusions,movementsandrhythms.Eachhasauniquepervadingquality.

Deweythenproceedstoofferamoredramaticsenseofanexperience.Twoexamplesofthissortofan
experienceareaquarrelwithafriendandthatmealinPariswhichseemedtocaptureallthatfoodcanbe.In
anexperienceeverypartflowsfreelyintowhatfollows,carryingwithitwhatprecededwithoutsacrificing
itsidentity.Thepartsarephasesofanenduringwhole.Norarethereanyholesormechanicaldeadspotsin
anexperience.Rather,therearepausesthatdefineitsqualityandsumupwhathasbeenundergone.

Worksofartareimportantexamplesofanexperience.Here,separateelementsarefusedintoaunity,
although,ratherthandisappearing,theiridentityisenhanced.Theunityofanexperience,whichisneither
exclusivelyemotional,practical,norintellectual,isdeterminedbyasinglepervasivequality.ContraLocke
andHume,Deweyholdsthatthetrainsofideasinthoughtarenotjustlinkedbyassociation,butinvolvethe
developmentofanunderlyingquality.Conclusionsinthoughtaresimilartotheconsummatingphaseofan
experience.Thinkinghasitsownaestheticquality.Itdiffersfromartonlyinthatitsmaterialconsistsof
abstractsymbolsratherthanqualities.Theexperienceofthinkingsatisfiesusemotionallybecauseitis
internallyintegrated,andyetnointellectualactivityisintegratedinthiswayunlessithasaestheticquality.
Thus,forDewey,thereisnoclearseparationbetweentheaestheticandtheintellectual.

Deweythoughtthatpracticalaction,too,caninvolvemeaninggrowingtowardsaconsummation.TheGreek
conceptofgoodconductasgracefulisanexampleoftheaestheticinthemoral.Ontheotherhand,much
moralactionhasnoaestheticqualityandismerehalfhearteddutyfollowing.

Inaestheticexperiencethereisconcernfortheconnectionbetweeneachincidentinaseriesandwhatwent
before.Interestcontrolswhatisselectedorrejectedinthedevelopingexperience.Bycontrast,innon
aestheticexperiencewedrift,evade,andcompromise.Thenonaestheticisafunctioneitherofloose
successionormechanicalconnectionofparts.Sincesomuchofexperienceislikeoneofthesewetakethis
tobethenormandplaceaestheticexperienceoutsideeverydaylife.Butnoexperiencehasunitywithout
aestheticquality.

Still,Deweydoesnotholdanexperiencetobecoextensivewithaestheticexperience.Philosophicaland
scientificinquiriescanhaveaestheticqualityeverybitasmuchasart.Theirpartsmaylinktoeachotherand
movetoconsummation.Theconsummationmayevenbeanticipatedandsavored.However,such
experiencesaremostlyintellectualorpracticalinnature.Also,whereasintellectualeffortmaybe
summarizedinatruththereisnosuchthinginart.

WhenDeweysaysthateveryintegralexperience(anothertermforanexperience)movestoaclosehe
meansthattheenergieswithinithavedonetheworktheyaresupposedtodo.Anelementofundergoingor
sufferingmayoccurinthis,forincorporatingwhatprecededcanbepainful,andyetthesufferingispartof
thecompleteenjoyedexperience.

Deweyholdsthataestheticqualityisemotional.Emotionsarenotstaticentitieswithnoelementofgrowth.
Whensignificant,theyarequalitiesofacomplexchangingexperience,ofadevelopingdrama.Thereareno
separatethingscalledemotions.Emotions,rather,areaspectsofeventsandobjects.Theyarenot,generally
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speaking,private.Theybelongtoaselfconcernedwithmovementandchange.Unlikeautomaticreflexes,
theyarepartsofanongoingsituation.

Emotionisacementingforcethatgivesdiversethingstheirqualitativeunity.Thiscangiveanexperience
aestheticcharacter.Forexample,anemployeeinterviewcaneitherbemechanicalandordinaryorcan
involveaninterplaythatturnsitintoanexperience.Inthelattercase,theeventsareconnected,each
changingtheunderlyingqualityastheycollectivelymovetoconsummation.Thismayinvolvethe
employer'simaginativeprojectionofthecharacteroftheapplicantontothejob,withresultantharmonyor
conflict.

Thestructureofanexperiencegoesasfollows.Thesubjectundergoessomethingorsomeproperties,these
propertiesdeterminehisorherdoingsomething,andtheprocesscontinuesuntiltheselfandtheobjectare
mutuallyadapted,endingwithfeltharmony.Thisevenholdsforthethinkerinteractingwithhisorherideas.
Whenthedoingandundergoingarejoinedinperceptiontheygainmeaning.Meaning,inturn,isgivendepth
throughincorporatingpastexperience.

Excessofdoing,orexcessofundergoing,mayinterferewithexperience.Forexample,desireforactionmay
leadtotreatingresistanceasmereobstacleandnotasamomentforreflection.Also,theundergoingmaybe
valuedwithoutanyperceptionofmeaning.Abalanceisrequiredbetweendoingandundergoingtoachieve
anexperience.

Deweydoesnotseparateartisticpracticefromintellect.Intelligenceiswhatperceivestherelationbetween
doingandundergoing.Theartistthinksasintentlyasthescientist.Thus,thinkingshouldnotbeidentified
withusingmathematicalorverbalsymbols.Theartistmustrespondintelligentlytoeverybrushstroketo
knowwheresheisgoing.Shemustseeeachelementinthecreativeprocessinrelationtothewholetobe
produced.Thequalityofherartdependsontheintelligenceshebringstobear.

Deweybelieveditunfortunatethatnotermcoverstheactofproductionandtheactofappreciationcombined
asonething.Perceptionandenjoymentofartareoftenseenashavingnothingincommonwiththecreative
act.Thetermaestheticissometimesusedtodesignatetheentirefieldandsometimesjusttheperceptual
side.Onceweseeconsciousexperienceasdoingandundergoingwecanseetheconnectionbetweenthe
productiveandappreciativeaspectsofart.Artdenotestheprocessofmakingsomethingoutofphysical
materialthatcanbeperceivedbyoneofthesenses.Aestheticreferstoexperienceasbothappreciativeand
perceptive.Itisthesideoftheconsumer.Andyet,productionandconsumptionshouldnotbeseenas
separate.Perfectionofproductionisintermsoftheenjoymentoftheconsumer:itisnotamerematterof
techniqueorexecution.Craftsmanshipisonlyartisticifitcaresdeeplyaboutthesubjectmatterandis
directedtowardsenjoyedperception.

Deweybelievedthatartbringstogetherthesamedoing/undergoingrelationthatmakesanexperiencewhatit
is.Somethingisartisticwhenthequalitiesoftheresultcontroltheprocessofproduction.Thattheaesthetic
experienceisconnectedwiththeexperienceofmakingcanbeseeninthefactthatifwebelievedaproductto
beofsomeprimitivepeople,andthendiscoveredthatitwasaproductofnature,itwouldbeperceived
differently.Aestheticsatisfactionmustbelinkedtotheactivitythatgaverisetoit.Forexamplethetasteof
theepicureincludesqualitiesthatdependonreferencetothemannerofproductionofthethingenjoyed.

Theprocessofartisticproductionisinvolvedfromthestartwithperception.Itentailssensitiveawarenessof
theevolvingobjectanditsaestheticqualities.Theartistendstheprocesswhensheperceivesdirectlythatthe
productisgood.Thesensitivityoftheartistdirectsthecontinuousshapingandreshapingofthework.Inthe
creativeprocess,handandeyeareintimatelyconnected.Bothactasinstrumentsofthelivecreatureasa
whole.Whenthepotter'sactionsforexampleareregulatedbyaseriesofperceptions,thebowlisgraceful.

Theproductisaestheticonlyifthedoingandundergoingarerelatedtoformaperceptualwhole.Thisoccurs
inimaginationaswellasinobservation.Theartistmustbuildupacoherentexperiencecontinuouslythrough
constantchange.Evenwhenanauthorwritesdownwhatshehadalreadyclearlyconceivedherworkisnot
private:artismadeforpublicconsumption.Similarly,thearchitectmustthinkinthemedium.Evenhere,
doingsandperceptionsinteractandmutuallyaffecteachotherinimagination.

Theactivitiesoftheperceiverarecomparabletothoseofthecreator.Receptionthatisfullperception,and
notmererecognition,isaseriesofresponsiveactsresultinginfulfillment.Inperception,consciousness
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becomesalive.Consciousnessrequiresimplicitinvolvementofmotorresponsethroughouttheorganism,
whichentailsthatthesceneperceivedbepervadedbyemotion.Althoughthisphaseofexperienceinvolves
surrender,thiscanonlybedonethroughcontrolledactivity,notwithdrawal.Itisagoingoutofenergy
whichisalsoaplungingintothesubjectmatter.

Weneedapprenticeshiptoperceivegreatworksofart.Aestheticexperienceofartrequiresacontinuous
interactionbetweenthetotalorganismandtheobject.Thetypicalguidedtourinamuseumdoesnotinvolve
suchinteraction.Inproperappreciationthebeholdermustcreateherownexperienceinsuchawayasto
includerelationssimilartothoseperceivedbytheartist.Recreationisrequiredfortheobjecttobeseenasa
workofart.Thebeholderaswellastheproducerselectsandsimplifiesaccordingtoherinterests,gathering
detailsintoawhole.

Theendofartissignificantonlyasanintegrationofparts.Dominantinaestheticexperiencearethe
characteristicsthatcausetheexperiencetobeintegratedandcomplete.Inintegralexperiencethereisa
dynamicformthatinvolvesgrowth.Thisformhasthreestages:inception,development,andfulfillment.
Aestheticexperienceconvertsresistancesintomovementtowardsaclose.Experiencingisarhythmofintake
andoutgivingbetweenwhichtherearepauseseachofwhich,inturn,incorporateswithinitselftheprior
doing.Thustheformofthewholeisineachpart.Theconsummationphaseofexperienceisnotmerely
locatedattheend.Foranartistisengagedincompletingherworkateverystageoftheprocess.Andthis
involvessummingupwhathasgonebefore.

2.4TheActofExpression
Dewey'stheoryofcreativityisdevelopedwithinthecontextofatheoryofexpressiveacts(Dewey1934,
Chapter4).LeoTolstoyhadfeaturedexpressioninhistheoryofartandtherearesomesimilaritiesbetween
Dewey'shandlingandhis.HoweverDeweybeginsfromanaturaliststandpoint.Hisfirstmoveistoclaim
thateveryexperiencebeginsasanimpulsion.Impulsion,asdistinguishedfromimpulse,isa
developmentalmovementofthewholeorganisminresponsetoaneedarisingfrominteractionwiththe
environment,forexampleacravingforfood.Itisthebeginningstageofacompleteexperience,whereas
impulseismomentary,forexampleatonguereactingtoasourtaste.

ForDewey,theepidermisisonlysuperficiallythelimitofthebody.Infact,variousexternalthingsbelongto,
andareneededby,thebody.Thisincludesnotonlysuchthingsasfoodandair,buttoolsandotheraspectsof
humanculture.Inshort,theselfdependsonitsenvironmentforitssurvival,andmustsecureitsmaterials
throughforaysintotheworld.Becauseofthis,theinitialimpulsionmeetsthingsthatopposeit.Theselfmust
converttheseobstaclesintosomethinguseful,thustransformingitsblindeffortsintopurposeandmeaning.

Impulsionbecomesawareofitselfonlythroughovercomingobstacles.Whenresistancegeneratescuriosity
andisovercome,theresultiselation.Emotionisthenconvertedintobothinterestandreflectiveaction
throughassimilatingmeaningsfromthepast.Inthisrecreativeacttheimpulsiongainsformandsolidity,
andoldmaterialisgivennewlife.Whatwouldotherwisebeeitherasmoothpassagewayoranobstruction
becomesamediumforcreativity.

Notalloutwardactivityisexpression.Deweyinsiststhatsomeonewhosimplyactsangrilyisnotexpressing
anger.Whatmayseemexpressivetoanoutsideobserverbecauseittellsussomethingaboutthestateofthe
personobservedmaynotbeexpressivefromthestandpointofthesubject.Meregivingwaytoimpulsion
doesnotconstituteexpression.Expressionrequiresclarification,whichforDeweymeansanorderingof
impulsionbywayofincorporatingvaluesofpriorexperiences.Althoughemotionaldischargeisnecessary
forexpression,itisnotsufficient.Todischargeistogetridof,whereastoexpressistocarrytocompletion.

Ababylearnsthatitgainsattentionwhenitcries.Asitbecomesawareofthemeaningofitsactionsit
performsthosepreviouslyblindactsonpurpose.Inthisway,consequencesareincorporatedasthemeaning
offuturedoings.Thebabyisthencapableofexpression.Primitivelyspontaneousacts,forexamplesmiles,
aretherebyconvertedintomeansofrichhumanintercourse.Similarly,theartofpaintingusespaintto
expressimaginativeexperience.

Deweystressesthatexpressionandartrequirematerialusedasmedia.Anintrinsicconnectionexists
betweenmediumandtheactofexpression.Tonesonlyexpressemotion,andhencearemusical,whenthey
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occurinamediumofothertones,aswhentheyareorderedinamelody.Expressionetymologicallyrefers
toasqueezingout.Yet,eventheexpressionofwinefromawinepressisnotameredischarge.Itinvolves
interactionbetweenwinepressandgrapestotransformprimitivematerialintosomethingexpressed.The
workofartinvolvesabuildingofexperienceoutofinteractionofvariousconditionsandenergiesinwhich
thethingexpressediswrungfromtheproducer.

ForDewey,theactofexpressionisaconstructionintime.Itisaprolongedinteractionofselfandobjective
conditionsthatgivesformandordertoboth.Theauthoronlycomestorecognizewhathe/shesetouttodo
withrawmaterialsattheendofaprocessthatbeganwithexcitementaboutthesubjectmatter.That
excitementinturnstirsupmeaningsbasedonpriorexperience.These,finally,enteraconsciousstage.The
fireofinspirationresultsineitherpainfuldisruptionorthecreationofarefinedproductinexpressiveaction.

Deweyobservesthatinspirationhasoftenbeenattributedtoamuseorgodbecauseitisbasedon
unconscioussources.Itinvolvesinnermaterialfindingobjectivefueltoburn.Theactofexpressionbringsto
completiontheactofinspirationbymeansofthismaterial.Foranimpulsiontoleadtoexpressiontheremust
beconflict,aplacewhereinnerimpulsemeetstheenvironment.Thetribalwardanceforexamplerequires
theuncertaintyofanimpendingraidforitsexcitement.Theemotionisnotcompleteinitselfwithinthe
individual:itisaboutsomethingobjective.Thus,emotionisimpliedinasituation,forexampleasituation
maybedepressingorthreatening.

2.5TheExpressiveObject
InthefifthchapterDeweyturnstotheexpressiveobject.Hebelievesthattheobjectshouldnotbeseenin
isolationfromtheprocessthatproducedit,norfromtheindividualityofvisionfromwhichitcame.Theories
whichsimplyfocusontheexpressiveobjectdwellonhowtheobjectrepresentsotherobjectsandignorethe
individualcontributionoftheartist.Conversely,theoriesthatsimplyfocusontheactofexpressingtendto
seeexpressionmerelyintermsofpersonaldischarge.

Worksofartusematerialsthatcomefromapublicworld,andtheyawakennewperceptionsofthemeanings
ofthatworld,connectingtheuniversalandtheindividualorganically.Theworkofartisrepresentative,not
inthesenseofliteralreproduction,whichwouldexcludethepersonal,butinthatittellspeopleaboutthe
natureoftheirexperience.

Deweyobservesthatsomewhohavedeniedartmeaninghavedonesoontheassumptionthatartdoesnot
haveconnectionwithoutsidecontent.Heagreesthatarthasauniquequality,butarguesthatthisisbasedon
itsconcentratingmeaningfoundintheworld.ForDewey,theactualTinternAbbeyexpressesitselfin
Wordsworth'spoemaboutitandacityexpressesitselfinitscelebrations.Inthis,heisquitedifferentfrom
thosetheoristswhobelievethatartexpressestheinneremotionsoftheartist.Thedifferencebetweenartand
scienceisthatartexpressesmeanings,whereassciencestatesthem.Astatementgivesusdirectionsfor
obtaininganexperience,butdoesnotsupplyuswithexperience.ThatwaterisH20tellsushowtoobtainor
testforwater.Ifscienceexpressedtheinnernatureofthingsitwouldbeincompetitionwithart,butitdoes
not.Aestheticart,bycontrasttoscience,constitutesanexperience.

Apoemoperatesinthedimensionofdirectexperience,notofdescriptionorpropositionallogic.The
expressivenessofapaintingisthepaintingitself.Themeaningistherebeyondthepainter'sprivate
experienceorthatoftheviewer.ApaintingbyVanGoghofabridgeisnotrepresentativeofabridgeoreven
ofVanGogh'semotion.Rather,bymeansofpictorialpresentation,VanGoghpresentstheviewerwithanew
objectinwhichemotionandexternalscenearefused.Heselectsmaterialwithaviewtoexpression,andthe
pictureisexpressivetothedegreethathesucceeds.

DeweynotesthatformalistartcriticRogerFryspokeofrelationsoflinesandcolorscomingtobefullof
passionatemeaningwithintheartist.ForFrytheobjectassuchtendstodisappearinthewholeofvision.
Deweyagreeswiththefirstpointandwiththeideathatcreativerepresentationisnotofnaturalitemsasthey
literallyhappen.Headdshoweverthatthepainterapproachesthescenewithemotionladenbackground
experiences.Thelinesandcolorsofthepainter'sworkcrystallizeintoaspecificharmonyorrhythmwhichis
afunctionalsoofthesceneinitsinteractionwiththebeholder.Thispassionindevelopinganewformisthe
aestheticemotion.Theprioremotionisnotforgottenbutfusedwiththeemotionbelongingtothenewvision.

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Dewey,then,opposestheideathatthemeaningsofthelinesandcolorsinapaintingwouldcompletely
replaceothermeaningsattachedtothescene.Healsorejectsthenotionthattheworkofartonlyexpresses
somethingexclusivetoart.Thetheorythatsubjectmatterisirrelevanttoartcommitsitsadvocatestoseeing
artasesoteric.Todistinguishbetweenaestheticvaluesofordinaryexperience(connectedwithsubject
matter)andaestheticvaluesofart,asFrywished,isimpossible.Therewouldbenothingfortheartisttobe
passionateaboutifsheapproachedthesubjectmatterwithoutinterestsandattitudes.Theartistfirstbrings
meaningandvaluefromearlierexperiencetoherobservationgivingtheobjectitsexpressiveness.Theresult
isacompletelynewobjectofacompletelynewexperience.

ForDewey,anartworkclarifiesandpurifiesconfusedmeaningofpriorexperience.Bycontrast,anonart
drawingthatsimplysuggestsemotionsthrougharrangementsoflinesandcolorsissimilartoasignboardthat
indicatesbutdoesnotcontainmeaning:itisonlyenjoyedbecauseofwhattheyremindusof.Also,whereas
astatementoradiagramtakesustomanythingsofthesamekind,anexpressiveobjectisindividualized,for
exampleinexpressingaparticulardepression.

2.6SubstanceandForm
ChapterSixbeginswithadiscussionofmedium.Deweyassertsthattherearemanylanguagesofart,each
specifictothemedium.Hebelievesthatmeaningsexpressedinartcannotbetranslatedintowords.
Moreover,languagerequiresnotonlyspeakersbutlisteners.Thus,inart,theworkisnotcompleteuntilitis
experiencedbysomeoneotherthantheartist.Artist,workandaudienceformatriad,forevenwhentheartist
worksinisolationsheisherselfvicariouslytheaudience.

Languageinvolvesbothwhatissaidandhowitissaid:substanceandform.Theartist'screativeeffortisin
formingthematerialsothatitistheauthenticsubstanceofaworkofart.Ifartweremereselfexpression,
substanceandformwouldfallapart.Still,selfexpressionisimportant.Withoutit,theworkwouldlose
freshnessandoriginality,andalthoughthematerialoutofwhichtheworkismadecomesfromthepublic
worldthemannerofitsmakingisindividual.

Deweyholdsthatsomeonewhoperceivesaworkaestheticallywillcreateanexperienceinwhichthesubject
isnew.Apoemisasuccessionofexperiences,andnotworeadershavethesameexperience.Indeedeach
readercreateshisorherownpoemoutofthesamerawmaterial.Theworkofartisonlyactuallysuchwhen
itlivesinaperson'sexperience.Asphysicalobject,theworkremainsidentical,butasworkofart,itis
recreated.Itwouldbeabsurdtoasktheartistwhatshemeantbyherwork,forshewouldfinddifferent
meaningsinitatdifferenttimes.Whattheartistmeansinawork,then,iswhatevertheperceivercangetout
ofitthatisliving.Thisdoesnotmeanthatanyinterpretationisasgoodasanyother,aswillbeseenwhenwe
discussDewey'schapteroncriticism.

2.7NaturalHistoryofForm

Inphilosophy,relationgenerallyreferstosomethingintellectualthatsubsistsinpropositions.But,as
Deweyobservesinhisseventhchapter,itrefersineverydaydiscoursetosomethingdirectandactive.Itleads
ustothinkoftheclashingsandunitingsofthings,ofmodesofinteraction.ForDewey,therelationthat
characterizesaworkofartismutualadaptationofthepartstoconstitutethewhole.Thisisalsotrueforthe
aestheticexperienceofacity.ApersonwhoaestheticallyperceivesNewYorkfromaferrywouldseethe
buildingsascolorfulvolumesinrelationtoeachanotherandtotheskyandriver.Thefocuswouldbeona
perceptualwholemadeupofrelatedparts,thevaluesofeachpartmodifyingandmodifiedbythevaluesof
theotherparts.

Returningtoart,DeweynotesthatMatissedescribestheprocessofpaintingintermsofputtingdown
patchesofcolor,whichthenloseimportanceasotherpatchesareputdown,sothatthedifferentcolorsneed
tobebalanced.Similarly,ahomeownerfurnishesaroombyinterrelatingthepartsinperception.Ingeneral,
perceptionconsistsinasequenceofactsthatbuildupononeanothertoachieveunityofform.Artonlydoes
thismoredeliberatelythanordinaryperception.Withinart,formistheworkingofforcesthatcarryan
experienceofsomethingtofulfillment.Thus,formneedstobeappropriatetothesubjectmatter.

Forfulfillmentorconsummationtheremustbeaprocessofbuildingupvalues.Thisrequiresconservingthe
meaningofwhathaspreceded.Theremustalsobeanticipationofthefutureineachaspectorphaseofthe
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process.Consummationis,then,relative.Deweyconcludesfromhisdiscussionuptothispointthat
continuity,cumulation,conservation,tensionandanticipationaretheconditionsofaestheticform.

Sinceresistanceortensionisneededfordevelopment,intelligenceinartmakingconsistsinovercoming
difficulties.Theperceiveralsoneedstosolveproblemsinordertobetterappreciatethework.Heorshemust
remakepastexperiencessothattheymayenterintothenewone.Rigidlypredeterminedproducts,by
contrast,areacademic.Atrueartistcaresabouttheendproductasthecompletionofwhatwentbefore,not
assomethingconformingtoapriorplan.

Deweybelievedthatthebeautyoffineartinvolvessomestrangenessordiscoverythatkeepsitfrombeing
mechanical.Thisallowsustoexperiencethethingforitsownsake.Unlikemechanicalproduction,inartistic
productiontheconsummatoryphaserecursthroughoutthework.Thustheworkisbothinstrumentaland
final.Artisinstrumentalnotinservingnarrowpurposesbutingivingusarefreshedattitudeaboutordinary
experienceandcontributingtoanenduringsenseofserenity.

Weadmireskillasenhancedexpressionbelongingtotheproductandnotmerelytotheproducer.Dewey
believedthattechniquethatemphasizestheartistisobtrusiveinsofarasitdoesnotcarrytheobjectto
consummation.Properly,techniqueistheskillofmanagingthemakingofform.Advancesintechniquecome
fromsolvingproblemsthatgrowoutofourneedfornewmodesofexperience.Historically,Dewey
observes,threedimensionalpaintingwasmotivatedbytheneedforsomethingmorethandepictionof
religiousscenes.Forexample,theVenetianpainters'useofcolorforsculpturaleffectarosefromthe
secularizationofvalueswhichwascharacteristicoftheirtime.Ingeneral,anewtechniquepassesthrough
threestages:experimentationandexaggeration,incorporationandvalidation,andimitationand
academicism.

Deweyassertsthatnewmaterialsdemandnewtechniques,andtheartistisabornexperimenter.Through
experimentation,theartistopensupnewareas,orrevealsnewqualitiesinthefamiliar.Whatisnowclassicis
theresultofpreviousadventure,whichiswhywestillfindadventureintheclassics.

Thereisinaestheticexperiencearhythmofsurrenderandreflection.Weinterruptthesurrenderaspectto
attendtotheabovementionedformalconditions.Thefirst,preanalytic,phaseofaestheticexperienceisone
ofoverwhelmingimpression.Wemight,forexample,beseizedbythegloryofalandscapeorbythemagic
ofapainting.Thisseizureisatahighlevelonlytotheextentthatthevieweriscultivated.LikeHume,
Deweyholdsthatcultivationcomesthroughpracticeindiscrimination.Howeverhealsoseesaesthetic
experienceintermsofphases.Inthismode,theseizurephaseisfollowedbythediscriminationphase,which
caneitheraffirmtheobject'svalueorconvinceusthatitwasnotworthyofourinitialresponse.Thisphase
can,inturn,expandintocriticism.

Deweybelievedthatthereisobjectivityinartevaluationbasedonseveralfactors.First,worksofartare
partsoftheobjectiveworldandareconditionedbymaterialsandenergiesofthatworld.Second,foran
objecttobethecontentofaestheticexperienceitmustsatisfyobjectiveconditionswhichbelongtothat
world.Thisiswhytheartistshowsinterestintheworld,andinhermaterials.

Thefirstandmostimportantoftheseobjectiveconditionsisrhythm.Rhythmalreadyexistsinnature.The
rhythmsofdawnandsunset,rainandshine,theseasons,themovementsofthemoonandthestars,
reproductionanddeath,wakingandsleeping,heartbeatandbreath,andtherhythmsinvolvedinworking
withmaterials,wereallseenbyearlymenashavingmysteriousmeaningrelatedtotheirsurvival.Evenmore
significantweretherhythmsinvolvedwithpreparingforwarandforplanting.Dramaticeventsalsoledmen
toimposeorintroducerhythmsthatwerenotpreviouslythere.

Reproducingtherhythmsofnaturegeneratedasenseofdramainlife.Theessencesofanimalswerebrought
tolifeintherhythmsofdance,sculptureandpainting.Combiningtheformativeartsandtherhythmsof
voiceanddanceledtofineart.Mancametousetherhythmsofnaturetocelebratehisrelationshipwith
natureandtocommemoratehismostintenseexperiences.Atfirstnodistinctionwasmadebetweenartand
scienceinthereproductionofthesechanges.Forexample,thefirstGreekstoriesabouttheoriginsofnature
hadaestheticform,andtheideaofnaturallawcamefromtheideaofharmony.

ForDewey,everyregularchangeinnatureisarhythm.Scienceprogressesaswerefineourunderstandingof
thesechanges.Science,however,partswayswithartwhenitpresentsrhythmsthroughsymbolsthatmean
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nothingtoperception.Nonetheless,eventodayscienceandarthaveacommoninterestinrhythm.Manuses
rhythmstocommemoratehismostintenseexperiences.Therhythmsofartaregroundedinthebasicpatterns
oftherelationoflivecreatureanditsenvironment.

2.8OrganizationofEnergies
Theartproductisphysicalandpotential,whereastheworkofartisactiveandexperienced.Itiswhatthe
productdoes.Deweygiveshisdefinitionofartinthis,theeighthchapterArtasExperience.(CaseyHaskins
(1998)makesacase,however,forDewey'sdefinitionofartbeingfoundinthechaptertitledTheVaried
SubstanceoftheArts.)Contrarytomanyinterpreters,heneitherclaimsthatartisidenticaltoexpressionor
toexperience.Moreover,likeNelsonGoodmanlater(1978),heaskswhenisart?ratherthanwhatisart?
ForDewey,aworkofarthappenswhenthestructureoftheobjectinteractswiththeenergiesofthesubject's
experiencetogenerateasubstancethatdevelopscumulativelytowardsfulfillmentofimpulsions.Tofully
understandthisdefinitionwemustunderstandtheroleofrhythminart.Onlywhenrhythmincorporatedinto
theexternalobjectisexperiencedisitaesthetic.Sincerhythmisamatterofperception,notofmere
regularity,itincludeswhatiscontributedbytheself.

Itisoftenthoughtthattherearetwokindsofart,spatialandtemporal,andthatonlythelattercanhave
rhythm.But,Deweyargues,perceptionofrhythminpicturesandsculptureisasessentialtotheirexperience
asthatofmusic.Rhythmisamatterofbringingaboutacompleteandconsummatoryexperience.Thetheory
thatrhythmisliteralrecurrence,whatDeweycallstheticktocktheory,seesitasmerelymechanical.Yet,
constantvariationisasimportanttorhythmasisorder.Indeed,morevariationproducesmoreinteresting
effects,providedthatorderismaintainedandthereisprogresstowardsfulfillment.

DeweyexplicatesthispointthroughanalyzingsomelinesfromWordsworth'sPrelude.Henotesthatnoone
wordinthispoemhasthemeaningwewouldfindinadictionary.Rather,themeaningisafunctionofthe
situationexpressed.Healsobelievesthatanindividualexperience,inthiscaseafeelingofdesolation,is
constantlybuiltasthepoemdevelops.Themeaningofeachwordbothdetermines,andisdeterminedby,this
developingexperience.Bycontrast,apopulargospelhymnisrelativelyexternal,physical,anduniformin
bothmatterandform,althoughevenheretheprocessiscumulative.Althoughrhythmrequiresrecurrence,
recurrenceisnotthesameasliteralrepetition,foritinvolvesrelationshipsthatbothsumupandalsocarry
forward.Theserelationshipsdefineparts,givethemindividuality,andconnectthemtothewhole.

Anothertheoryofrhythm,thetomtomtheory,seesitasamatterofrepetitionofbeats.Onthisview,
variationcomesmerelyfromthepilingupofsuchuniformrhythms.Thetheory,Deweybelieves,isbasedon
amisunderstandingoftribalmusicinwhichitisforgottenthatsuchrhythmsusuallyoccurinthecontextof
singinganddanceandinvolvedevelopmenttogreaterlevelsofexcitement.Also,tribalrhythmsaremore
complexandsubtlethanthoseofwesternmusicwithitsemphasisonharmony.

2.9TheCommonSubstanceoftheArts

Whatsubjectmatterisappropriatetoart?Reynoldsinthe18thcenturythoughtthatonlyinstancesofheroic
actionandsufferingwouldcount.Howeverinthe19thcenturysuchordinarytopicsofeverydaylifeas
railwaycoachesandplatesbecamethesubjectmatterofpainting.Thesamedemocraticwideningofsubject
matteroccurredintheotherarts.Ingeneral,oneofart'sfunctionsistoquestionthelimitationsofsubject
mattersetbyconventionandmoralism.Theonlylimitationsetisbytheinterestoftheartist.However,
universalityandoriginalityinartdependsontheartist'sinterestbeingsincere.Whatevernarrowsthe
permittedsubjectmatterofartnarrowstheartist'sabilitytobesincereandhindershisorherimagination.
Thishappensforexamplewhentheartistisrequiredtoworkonproletariansubjectmatter,asintheSoviet
Union.Allofthisdiversitysuggeststhatthereissomecommonsubstancetothearts.Buttosaythatthis
commonsubstancesisformistoarbitrarilyseparateformandmatter.

Notonlyistherecommunityofformintheartsbutalsocommunityofsubstance,whichisthetopicof
Dewey'sninthchapter.Thecreativeprocessbeginswithatotalseizure,aninclusivequalitativewhole(a
mood)whichisthenarticulated,andevencontinuesafterarticulation.Thisqualitativewholedetermines
thedevelopmentofapoemintoparts,andwhenthisdoesnothappenwebecomeawareofbreaks.

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Thiselement,whichhealsoreferstoasapenetratingquality,isimmediatelyexperiencedinallpartsofthe
work.Yetitcannotbedescribed,orevenspecified.Itissopervasivewetakeitforgranted.Itisan
emotionallyintuitedfusionofthedifferentelementsoftheworkwithoutit,thepartswouldonlybe
mechanicallyrelated.Theorganicwholeisthepartspermeatedbyit.Itmaybecalledthespiritofthework.
Itisalsothework'srealityinthatitmakesusexperiencetheworkasreal.Itisthebackgroundthat
qualifieseverythingintheforeground.

ForDewey,thisbackgroundextendssurprisinglyfar.Althoughwemayassumethatexperienceshave
boundededgeslikethoseoftheirobjects,thewholeofanexperience,andespeciallyitsqualitative
background,whichhecallsthesetting,extendsindefinitely.Bysetting,Deweysimplymeansthe
backgroundaspectoftheexperience,thatwhichisnotfocusedintheexperience.Themarginsofour
experienceshadeintothatindefiniteexpansewecalltheuniverse.However,thisexperientialbackgroundis
onlymadeconsciousinthespecificobjectsthatformthefocus.Behindeveryexplicitobjectthereis
somethingimplicitthat,althoughwecallitvague,isnotsointheoriginalexperience,foritisafunctionof
thewholesituation.Anexperienceismystical,Deweybelieves,totheextentthatthisfeelingofanunlimited
backgroundisintense,anditisparticularlyintenseincertainworksofart,forexampleintragedy.Symbolist
poetsstressitwhentheysaythataworkofartmustincludesomethingnotunderstood.

Thatthepervasivequalitybindstogetherthevariouselementsoftheworkisshownbythefactthatwe
constantlyseethingsimmediatelyasbelongingtoaworkornot.Thatartenhancesthepervasivequality
explainswhyweexperienceincreasedclarityinfrontofanyworkofartweexperienceintensely,andwhy
weexperiencereligiousfeelingsinconnectionwithaestheticintensity.Thissenseofaworldbeyondusgives
usanexpandedsenseofselfandafeelingofunity.However,Deweyisnotmakingametaphysicalclaim
here:althoughheisspeakingofanintuitionitisnotoftheAbsolutebutofadeeperdimensionofordinary
realityasexperienced.

Everyworkofartusesamediumassociatedwithdifferentorgans.Artintensifiesthesignificanceofthefact
thatourexperienceismediatedthroughtheseorgans.Inpainting,colorgivesusascenewithoutmixtureof
theothersenses.Colormustthencarrythequalitiesgivenbytheothersenses,thusenhancingits
expressiveness.Thereissomethingmagicalinthepowerofflatpicturestodepictadiverseuniverse,asalso
inthepowerofmeresoundstoexpressevents.Inartmediaallthepossibilitiesofaspecializedorganof
perceptionareexploited.Seeing,forexample,operateswithfullenergyinthemediumofpaint.Mediumis
takenupintoitandremainswithintheresult.

Aestheticeffectsnecessarilyattachtotheirmedium.Whenanothermediumissubstituted,asinboards
paintedtolooklikestone,theresultlooksfake.Whenmeansandendsareexternaltoeachotherthe
experienceisnonaesthetic.Thisalsoappliestoethicswhenconsideredfromthestandpointofaesthetics.
Forexample,beinggoodtoavoidpunishmenthasnoaestheticvalue.TheGreeksrecognizedthatgood
conducthasgraceandproportion,fusingmeansandends.

Sensitivitytoamediumisessentialbothtoartisticcreationandaestheticperception.ThusDewey,likeClive
Bellbeforehim(Bell1914),warnsusawayfromlookingatpaintingsasillustrations.Norarewetolookat
themintermsoftechnique.Bothapproachesinvolveseparationofmeansandends.Themediummediates
betweentheartistandtheperceiver.Theartist,unliketheordinaryperson,isabletotransformmaterialinto
medium.Nonartists,bycontrast,requiremanymaterialstoexpressthemselves,andtheresultsoftheir
effortsareoftenconfused.

2.10TheVariedSubstanceoftheArts
InhistenthchapterDeweyinsiststhatartisthequalityofathingandisthusadjectival.Tosaythattennisis
anartistosaythatthereisartintennis.Theproductisnottheworkofart,rathertheworkistheenjoyed
experienceofahuman.Sinceartdoesnotdenoteobjectsitisnotdividedintodifferentclasses.Itissimply
anactivitythatisdifferentiatedbasedonthemediumused.Artistsareconcernedwithqualities,andqualities
areconcreteandparticular.Forapainter,therearenotworedsbecauseeachisinfluencedbyitscontext.

Deweyiscriticalofvariousclassificationsofthearts,forinstancethatbetweenhigherandlowersense
organs,orbetweentheartsofspaceandtime,orbetweenrepresentativeandnonrepresentativeart.Healso
hasproblemswithrigidclassificationanddefinitionintermsofgenusandspecieswhenitcomesto
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aesthetics.TheideaoffixedclassesisassociatedwiththeideaoffixedruleswhichDeweyalsorejects.
Classificationlimitsperceptionandinhibitscreativity.Asaconsequence,Deweyspendsmuchtimeinthis
chapterdiscussingspecificdifferencesbetweenthevariousfineartmediawhichwillnotbesurveyedhere.

2.11TheHumanContribution
InhiseleventhchapterDeweyexpressesawishtoovercomewhathebelievestobefalseandantiquated
psychologicaltheoriesthathinderaestheticunderstanding.Forexample,hedeniestheLockeanviewthatthe
undergoingsoftheselfaremereimpressionsstampedonwax.Experienceisneithermerelyphysicalnor
merelymental.Rather,thingsandeventsoftheworldaretransformedinthecontextofthelivecreature,and
thecreatureitselfistransformedthroughthisinteraction.Contrarytheoriesholdthatexperiencehappens
exclusivelywithinthemind,fragmentingtheselfintosense,feeling,anddesire.However,theseareactually
onlydifferentaspectsoftheinteractionofselfandenvironment.Theseparation,forexample,between
intellectualandsensualaspectsofthesoulisbasedratherondifferencesinsocialclass.Deweybelievedthat
badlyorderedsocietiesexaggeratethesedistinctions,whichisthebusinessofarttoovercome.

Theoriesthatassumethataestheticqualityisprojectedontotheaestheticobject,forexampleSantayana's
ideathatartisobjectifiedpleasure,exemplifythisseparation.Althoughtheseparationofselfandobjecthas
practicalimportanceineverydaylifeitdissolvesinaestheticexperience.Deweyopposestheidea,setforth
byI.A.Richards,thatapaintingcausescertaineffectsinus.Rather,apaintingisatotaleffectarisingfrom
theinteractionoflivecreatureandsuchexternalfactorsaspigmentandlight.Itsbeautyisapartofthat
effect.DeweyalsocriticizesKant'sreductionofattentiveobservationtomerecontemplationandhis
reductionoftheemotionalelementoftheaesthetictopleasuretakenincontemplation.Theproblemwith
Kantisthathedrewdistinctionsandthenmadethemintocompartmentaldivisions,thusseparatingthe
aestheticfromothermodesofexperience.Hisnotionofpurefeelingledtobeautybeingseenasremotefrom
desireandaction.Dewey,bycontrast,seesaestheticexperienceasincorporationofdesireandthoughtinto
theperceptual.

Thepleasuretakeninreadingapoemisnotinthecontemplationbutinfulfillmentoftendenciesinthe
subjectperceived.Asopposedtotraditionalpsychology,Deweyholdsthatimpulsioncomesfirst,followed
bysensation.Thepresenceofintensesensuousqualitiesshowsthepresenceofimpulsion.Aesthetic
appreciationhasbalancewhenmanyimpulsesareinvolved.Aestheticexperiencemayonlybesaidtobe
disinterestedifthismeansthatitcontainsnospecializedinterest.

ForDewey,imaginationisnotaselfcontainedfacultybutaqualitythatpervadesallmakingand
observation.Itisawayofseeingthatmakesoldthingsnew.FollowingColeridge,heholdsthatthe
imaginationweldstogetherdiverseelementsintoanewunifiedexperience.ContrarytoColeridge,however,
itisnotapower.Rather,itissomethingthathappenswhenvariousmaterialscometogether.Norisitsimply
givingfamiliarexperienceanewlook,foritonlyhappenswhenmindandmaterialinterpenetrate.Therole
ofimaginationcanbeseenintermsofthedialecticofinnerandoutervisionincreativemakinginwhich
innervisionseemsatfirstricher,andthenoutervisionseemstohavemoreenergy,althoughtheinnervision
controlstheouter.Imaginationistheinteractionofthetwo.

2.12TheChallengetoPhilosophy

Dewey'stwelfthchapterdrawsimplicationsfromhisaesthetictheoryforphilosophyingeneral.Continuing
hisdiscussionofimagination,heholdsthatallconsciousexperiencehassomeelementofimagination,for
imaginationisconsciousadjustmentofthenewandtheold.Yetallimaginativeexperienceisnotthesame.
Artisdistinguishedfromreverieanddreaminthatthemeaningsofartareembodiedinmaterial.Aesthetic
experienceisdistinguishedfromotherimaginativeexperiencebythefactthatthemeaningsembodiedare
especiallywideanddeep.Althoughscientificinventionsarealsoproductsofimagination,worksofartdo
notoperateintherealmofphysicalexistence.Aworkofartconcentratesandenlargesimmediate
experience,directlyexpressingimaginativelyevokedmeaning.Italsoencouragesitsaudiencetocarryouta
similarimaginativeact.

Aestheticexperienceisachallengetophilosophybecauseitisfreetodevelopasexperience.Thus,
philosophersmustgotoaestheticstofindoutwhatexperienceis.Moreover,aphilosopher'saesthetictheory

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willtesthisorherabilitytounderstandexperienceitself.Aesthetictheorieshavetypicallytakenasingle
factorandexplainedaestheticexperienceintermsofit,forexample,takingimaginationasasingleelement
ratherthanasthatwhichholdsalltheelementstogether.Thevariousaesthetictheoriesmaybeclassified
accordingtowhichelementtheyemphasize.Deweybelievesthateachtheoryimposespreconceivedideas
uponthesubjectmatter.Themakebelievetheory,forexample,tendstoseetheimaginativeexperienceofart
intermsofreverie.Althoughreverieisnotabsentfromart,thereareequallyessentialelements,especially
theelementofcreativecontrolthatcausesideastobeembodiedinanobject.Inart,theproductmustbe
saturatedbothwiththequalitiesoftherepresentedobjectandthoseoftheemotionexpressed.

Becauseartoftengivesusasenseofincreasedunderstanding,somephilosophershaveseenitasamodeof
knowledge,sometimesevenassuperiortoscience.Therehavebeenmanydifferentthingssuggestedaswhat
isknownthroughart.Thisshowsthatthephilosophersinvolvedwerenotthinkingaboutartoraesthetic
experience.OnDewey'sview,thesenseofincreasedunderstandinginartcomesfromthefactthat
knowledgeistransformedbothinproductionandinexperiencebybeingmergedwithnonintellectual
elements.Lifeismademoreintelligiblebyartnotthroughconceptualizationbutthroughclarificationand
intensificationinexperience.

Deweydoesnotrejectessences,hesimplyrejectsprevioustheoriesofthem.Heinsiststhatessencesexists
eventhoughtheyarenotobjectsinthemind.ForDewey,essenceappearsasthequalityofintenseaesthetic
experiencewhichissoimmediateastobemystical.Butitisnottobeassociatedwiththeultimateessences
oftraditionalmetaphysics.Followingordinarylanguage,Deweynotesthatessencecanalsomeanthe
gistofathing,whatisindispensable.ForDewey,allartisticexpressionmovestowardsorganizationof
meaningthatcapturesessencesinthissense.AnexampleofthisisthepainterCourbetwhoconveysthe
essenceliquiditysaturatingthelandscape.Theworkofartformsanexperienceasanexperience(Dewey
1934,p.298).Theessentialistheresultofartandofartistshavingexpressedessentialmeaningsin
perception,andnotsomethingthatexistspriortoart.

Deweythenturnstovarioustraditionaltheoriesofart.Plato,ashenotedearlier,unconsciouslyborrowshis
ideaofessencefromthearts.WhenCroceseesessenceastheobjectofintuitionandidentifiesthiswith
expressionheisjustimposinghispriorphilosophicalspeculationsonaestheticexperience.Deweyrejects
Croce'sideathattheonlyrealexistenceismindandthattheworkofartisastateofmind.(Thiscommentled
toCroce'spublishedreviewofDeweyandtotheongoingreceptionofDewey'sbookmentionedinthe
introductionandelaboratedinthelastsectionofthisarticle.)Schopenhauerisalsodismissedasjusta
dialecticaldevelopmentofKant.DeweyobjectsspecificallytoSchopenhauer'srulingcharmoutofaesthetic
experienceandevenmoretohisfixedhierarchiesofbeautyandofthearts.Dewey'smainpurposeinthese
attacksistoshowthatphilosophyalsoinvolvesimaginationandthatartcontrolstheimaginativeadventures
ofphilosophythroughintegratingoppositesandovercomingisolationinthought.

2.13CriticismandPerception
Dewey'sthirteenthchapteraddressesthenatureofcriticism.ForDewey,judgmentisanactofintelligence
performedonperceptionforthepurposeofmoreadequateperception.Itisdevelopmentinthemediumof
thoughtofdeeplyrealizedexperience.Herejectsthereforejudicialcriticisminwhichtheverdictiscentral.
Suchcriticismisproducedoutadesireforauthorityonthesideofcritics,andforprotectiononthepartof
theaudience.

Deweyholdsthattherearenoinfallibletouchstonesincriticism.Infact,itisharmfultothinkthatthereare
such.Thiscanbeseenintheblundersofthejudicialcritic,forexampletheattacksonpostimpressionistsin
the1913Armoryshow.Ingeneral,judicialcriticismconfusesaparticulartechniquewithaestheticform.
Thisisnottosay,however,thatjudgmentisarbitrary.Rather,goodjudgmentrequiresarichbackground,
disciplinedinsight,andthecapacitytodiscriminateandtounify.Judicialcriticismfailsbecauseitcannot
handlenewmovementsinartwhich,bytheirnature,expresssomethingnewinhumanexperience.

Theoppositeextremeisimpressionistcriticism,whichholdsthatjudgmentisimpossibleandthatallthatis
neededisastatementofresponse.ForDewey,impressions,i.e.,unanalyzedqualitativeeffects,areonlythe
beginningsofjudgments.Toanalyzeanimpressionistogobeyondittogroundsandconsequences.Even
defininganimpressionbygroundingitinpersonalhistoryismovingtowardsjudgment.Justastheartist
takesobjectivematerialfromacommonworldandtransformsitbyimaginativevision,sotoothecriticmust
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attendtoobjectivefeaturesoftheworkheorsheisstudying.Theresultisperceptiveappreciationthatisalso
knowledgeable.

Deweybelievesthatalthoughtherearenostandardsforcriticaljudgmenttherearecriteriaofjudgment.
Previousdiscussionsoftherelationofformandmatter,andoftheroleofmediuminart,haveaddressedthis
point.Thesecriteriaarenotrulesbutrathermeansofdiscoveringwhattheworkofartisasanexperience.
Thebusinessofcriticismistodeepenexperienceforothersthroughreeducatingperception.Wefully
understandtheworkonlywhenwegothroughthesameprocessestheartistwentthroughwhenproducingit,
andthecriticsharesinpromotingthisprocess.

Deweyholdsthatjudgmenthastwomainfunctions:discriminationandunification.Thefirstinvolves
understandingofparts,andthesecondleadstounderstandinghowtheyarerelatedtoeachotherandtothe
whole.Thefirstisanalysis,andthesecondissynthesis.Thetwoareinseparable.Thecriticgainsacapacity
foranalysisthroughalongstandingconsuminginterestinthesubject.Sheshouldintenselylikethesubject
andalsohaverichandfullexperienceofit,aswellapersonalintimacywiththetraditionofthesubject'sart
form.Acquaintancewiththemasterpiecesofthetraditionwillbehertouchstone,althoughthey,too,are
appreciatedonlywithinthecontextofthattradition.Thecriticshouldalsobefamiliarwithaninternational
varietyoftraditions,African,Persian,etc.Lackofsuchknowledgeleadstooverestimationofsomeartistsat
theexpenseofothers.Sincethecriticwillhaveknowledgeofawidevarietyofconditionsandmaterials,she
willappreciateamultitudeofformsandwillnotpraiseworksimplyfortechnicalskill.Thiswideknowledge
willalsoallowfordiscrimination,andfordeterminingtheintentoftheartist.Thecriticshouldalsohave
knowledgeofthelogicaldevelopmentoftheindividualartist'swork.

Asbothcriticsandartistshavepersonalareasofinterest,theytendtopushtheuniquemodesofvision
associatedwiththeseareastotheirlimits.Eachmodeofvisionisassociatedwithamethod,andeachmethod
hasitsownfailing:forexamplesymbolismcanbecomeunintelligible,andabstractartcanbecomeamere
scientificexercise.Eachtendencysucceeds,Deweybelieves,whenmatterandformachieveequilibrium.
Thecriticfailswhenshethinksthatherowntendencyistheonlylegitimateone.

ForDewey,thesyntheticorunifyingphaseofjudgmentinvolvestheinsightofthecritic.Therearenorules
inthesyntheticphase,forthisaspectofcriticismisanart.Partsshouldbeseenintermsoftheirrolewithin
thelargerintegralwhole.Thecriticmustdiscoversomeunifyingstrandinthework,onethatisnotsimply
imposedonthework.Therecanbemanyunifyingideasinaworkofart,butthethemeandthedesign
describedbythecriticmustbereallypresentthroughout.

Dangerincriticismincludesreductionofanentireworktoanisolatedelement,forexamplelookingat
techniqueapartfromform.Also,althoughoneshouldtakeintoaccountculturalmilieus,itisdangerousto
reduceworkstoeconomic,political,sociological,orpsychoanalyticterms.Certainfactorsmayberelevantto
thebiographyoftheartistbutnottounderstandingtheworkitself.Inshort,(andanticipatingMonroe
Beardsley)Deweybelievesthattheaestheticmeritofaworkiswithinthework,andextraneousmaterial
shouldnotsubstituteforunderstandingtheworkitself.

Noristhereanyvalueinjudgingartbythephilosophicalpositionpresented.IfonevaluedMiltonforthis
reasononewouldhavetorejectDante,LucretiusandGoethe,eachofwhompresentsadifferentphilosophy.
Confusioncomesfromneglectingsignificanceofthemedium.Thematerialofscience,philosophy,andthe
artsisthesame:thelivecreatureanditsenvironment.However,whereasscienceusesitsmediumtocontrol
andpredict,artusesitsmediumtoenhanceexperience.Dewey,inoppositiontoSantayana,admired
Shakespeareforholdingthatnatureoffersmanymeanings.Thevalueofexperienceisgreatestinitsabilityto
revealmanyideals,andthevalueofidealsisintheexperiencestheygenerate.

DeweyalsofavorspoetRobertBrowning'sviewoftherelationbetweentheindividualandtheuniversal.
Naturemanifestscontinuity,i.e.,endurancethroughchange.Thecriticmustbesensitivetothesignsof
change.Althoughthecriticisanindividualandhencehashisorherownbias,heshouldtransformthisbias
intoameansofsensitiveperceptionandinsightwhilenotallowingittoharden.Heshouldalsorecognize
thatthereareamultitudeofotherqualitiesintheworldworthyofart.Hemaythenhelpotherstohavea
fullerappreciationoftheobjectivepropertiesofartworks.Criticaljudgmentdependsondeepeningthe
perceptionofothers.Itsbusinessisnottoevaluatebuttoreeducateperception,theperfectionofperception

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beingthemoralpurposeofart.Weonlyfullyunderstandthemeaningofaworkwhenwehavegonethrough
theprocessestheartistwentthrough,andthecriticpromotesthisexperience.

2.14ArtandCivilization
Dewey'slastchapteraddressesthelargeissueofartandcivilization.Hebeginsbynotingthat
communicationisthefoundationofallactivitiesthatinvolveinternalunionbetweenhumanbeings.Many
relationsbetweenpersons,forexamplebetweeninvestorsandlaborers,areexternalandmechanical,and
hencenotreallycommunication.Artisauniversalmodeoflanguage.Itisnotaffectedbytheaccidentsof
historyinthewaythatspeechis.Musicforexamplecanbringpeopletogetherinloyaltyandinspiration.
Althougheachcultureisheldtogetherbyitsownindividuality,itisstillpossibletocreatecontinuityand
communitybetweenculturesaslongasonedoesnottrytoreduceonetotheother.Onecanexpand
experiencetoabsorbtheattitudesandvaluesofothercultures.Friendshipis,onasmallerscale,asolutionto
thesameproblem,foritcomesfromsympathythroughimagination.Weunderstandotherswhentheirdesires
andaimsexpandus.Tocivilizeistoinstructothersinlife,andthisrequirescommunicationofvaluesbyway
ofimagination.Theartsaidindividualsinachievingthis.

HoweverDeweybelievedthattodaytheartsfailtoorganicallyconnectwithotheraspectsofculture,
especiallyscienceandindustry.Theisolationofartisonemanifestationoftheincoherenceofoursociety.
Sciencegivesusanewconceptionofthephysicalworld.Butwealsoholdaconceptionoftheworldwhich
weinheritedfromoldermoralandreligioustraditions.Thus,themoralandphysicalworldsareseparated,
resultinginphilosophicaldualism.Recoveringanorganicplacefortheartsinoursocietyiscloselytiedto
thisproblem.

Deweybelievedthatasthescientificmethodhasnotyetbecomeanaturalpartofexperienceitsimpactwill
continuetobebothexternalanddisintegrating.Yetalthoughsciencestripsthingsoftheirvalue,theworldin
whichartoperatesremainsthesame.Thusthedeathofartisnotimminent.Moreover,scienceshowsthat
manisapartofnature.Thishelpsmantorecognizethathisideasaretheresultofnaturewithin.Also,
resistanceandconflictcontributetoart.So,whensciencedisclosessuchresistance,itpromotesart,asitdoes
whenitarousescuriosity,enlivensobservation,andgivesusrespectforexperience.Anewunitywouldcome
withintegrationofscienceintotheculturalwhole.

Deweyobservesthattheseparationbetweenfineartandusefulart,althoughitgoesbacktotheGreeks,is
intensifiedtodaybymassproductionandthegreaterimportanceofindustryandtrade.Productionofgoodsis
nowmechanical,andthisisopposedtotheaesthetic.Still,integrationofartincivilizationisnotimpossible.
Althoughwellconstructedobjectshaveform,theaestheticcomesonlywhenexternalformfitsourlarger
experience.Ifthepartsareefficientlyrelated,asinawellconstructedmachine,theresultisaesthetically
favorable.Deweywasafanofaestheticsofmodernistdesign.Hebelievedthatrecentcommercialproducts
haveimprovedformandcolor,traincarsarenolongeroverloadedwithsillyornament,andapartment
interiorsarebetteradaptedtoourneeds.Althoughheadmitsthatfactoriesandslumsmarthelandscape,he
observesthatthehumaneyeisadaptingtotheshapesandcolorsofurbanlife.Evenobjectsinthenatural
landscapeareperceivedintermsofthesenewforms.But,giventhatthehumanorganismneedssatisfaction
throughthevariousorgans,thesurroundingsthathaveresultedfromindustrialismarelessfulfillingthan
previously.

Deweybelievesthatthetroubleiswiththeeconomicsystem.Theproblemcannotberesolvedmerely
throughincreasedwagesorreducedworkhours.Increasingleisurehoursonlyreinforcesthedualismoflabor
andleisure.Aradicalsocialchangewhichwouldallowformoreworkerparticipationintheproductionand
distributionofproductsistheonlythingthatwouldimprovethequalityofexperience.Increasedsenseof
freedomandincreasedcontrolintheprocessesofproductionwouldgivetheworkeranintimateinterestand
henceaestheticsatisfactioninhiswork.Nothingaboutmachineproductionpersemakesworkersatisfaction
impossible.Itisprivatecontrolofforcesofproductionforprivategainthatimpoverishesourlives.Whenart
ismerelythebeautyparlorofcivilization,bothartandcivilizationareinsecure.Wecanonlyorganizethe
proletariatintothesocialsystemviaarevolutionthataffectstheimaginationandemotionsofman.Artisnot
secureuntiltheproletariatarefreeintheirproductiveactivityanduntiltheycanenjoythefruitsoftheir
labor.Todothis,thematerialofartshouldbedrawnfromallsources,andartshouldbeaccessibletoall.

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AlthoughthisviewissimilartoMarxisttheoryDeweydoesnotfavorreducingarttopropaganda.Indeed,he
assertsthattheoriesthatseeartasdirectlymoralultimatelyfailbecausetheyseeitintermsofhowwe
personallyrelatetoselectedworks.Theyfailtolookatthelargercontextofcivilization.Poetrycriticizesnot
directlybutbymeansofanimaginativevisionofanalternatereality.Artinstructsbywayofcommunicating,
butweneedtounderstandsuchinstructionasincludingimagination.Moralactiondependsonbeingableto
imaginativelyputoneselfintoanother'sshoesandartencouragesthis.Indeed,artismoremoralthan
morality,formoralitytendstobeboggeddowninconvention,unlessitistheproductofmoralprophets,who
havealwaysbeenpoets.Ifartweretoberecognizedasgoingbeyondidlepleasureorluxuriousdisplay,and
moralswereseenasamatterofsharedvalues,thentheproblemoftheirrelationwouldberesolved.Artis
morallypowerfulbecauseitisindifferenttomoralpraiseandblame.DeweyagreeswithShelleythatmorals
requiregoingoutofourselvesandidentifyingwiththebeautiful.Theunionofthepossibleandtheactualin
artiscontinuedinthemoralrealm.

3.CriticalReactions
Dewey'sideasonaestheticsandartshavebeenfrequentlybothcriticizedanddefendedovertheseventyfive
yearsfollowingthepublicationofArtasExperience.Thesewillbereviewedintheirorderofappearance.
Vivas(1937)arguesthatDeweyholdstwotheoriesabouttheemotions'roleinaestheticexperience,onethat
theestheticobjectarousesemotioninthespectator,andtheotherthatthecontentofmeaningofart,
objectivelyspeaking,isemotion.But,heargues,experimentalaestheticshasshownthatemotionisan
accidentalconsequenceofaestheticapprehension,andsoshouldnotbeincludedinitsdefinition.Thesame
aestheticobjectcanarousedifferentemotionalreactionsindifferentspectators.Sometrainedpersonsin
musicevendenythatadequateaestheticexperienceinvolvesemotion.Deweyalsohasnotgivenan
explanationofthemeansbywhichtheobjectexpressesemotion.Vivashimselfdefinesaestheticexperience
intermsofraptattentioninvolvingapprehensionoftheobject'simmanentmeanings.

Inasecondarticle(Vivas1938),heasks:Areemotionsattachedtothematerial?Howisthisconsistentwith
theideathatemotionisnotexpressedintheobject?Andhowaretheseideasconsistentwiththeideathat
emotionisarousedinthespectator?Vivasinsiststhatnotallartarousesemotionineveryonewhohas
effectiveintercoursewithit.Music,forsophisticatedlisteners,isoftennotsuggestiveofemotions.Whenwe
findsadnessinmusicwewoulddobettertocallitanobjectivecharacterofthemusicthananemotion.
AnotherproblemforDewey:iftheselfdisappearsinexperiencethenhowcantheobjectarouseemotionin
theselforhaveemotionattachedtoit?Also,iftheselfdisappearsintoharmony,howcantherebethekind
ofdisharmonyassociatedwithemotion?

IhavealreadymentionedPepper'sobjectionthatDewey'stheoryisnotsufficientlypragmatic(Pepper1939).
HisspecificobjectionisthatDewey'sviewswereeclectic,incorporatingelementsbothofpragmatismandof
Hegelianorganicism.Pepperbelievesthatboththeories,aswellasformalism,canbevaluablewhentaken
separately,butthatthemixtureinDeweyhurtspragmatism.Pepperidentifiedorganicismwiththeviewthat
theultimaterealityisTheAbsolute.Deweyreplied(1939b)thathehadbasedhisaesthetictheoryon
examinationofthesubjectmatterandnotonanyaprioritheory.Wordsheused,suchascoherence,
whole,integration,andcomplete,wereintendedtohavemeaningconsistentwithhispragmatic
empiricismanddidnotbythemselvesindicateacommitmenttoidealism.Moreover,itwasoneofhismain
pointsthatalthoughthesetermswereapplicabletoaestheticmatterstheycouldnot,contratheidealists,be
extendedtotheworldasawhole.Thetermshadaspecialsenseapplyingonlytoexperiencesasaesthetic.
DeweyrejectedanytheoryofagreatcosmicharmonyassociatedwiththeHegeliannotionoftheAbsolute.

Inalaterwork,Pepper(1945)agreeswithDeweythateachreadingofapoembringsanewexperience,but
thinksthat,sincethereisalsoidentityofcontextthatcanmakethedifferencesminor,wecanspeakofan
identicalqualityrunningthroughthedifferentsituations.Pepperhasmanypositivethingstosayabout
Dewey'scontextualism(hiswordforpragmatisminaesthetics),butheinsiststhatthereismuchmore
permanenceofaestheticvaluesintheworldthanDeweywouldadmit.Agreatworkofartmaybe
appreciatedaslongasthephysicalworkexistsandsomeoneexiststoperceiveit,andinsofarasitappealsto
commoninstincts,itmayappealtopeopleofvariedcultures.

TheItalianphilosopherandaestheticianBenedettoCrocereadDewey'sArtasExperienceandrespondedto
it.HerightlypointedoutmanysimilaritiesbetweenhisownandDewey'sthought.(Croce1948).Therewere,

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however,stillthreepointsofseriouscontention:(1)Croceplacessignificantlymoreimportanceonthe
universalityofartthanDewey,(2)hestillinsiststhatthematerialofartconsistsnotofexternalthingsbutof
internalsentimentsofhumanpassions:acharacteristicallyidealistpositionthatDeweyvehementlyrejects,
and(3)whereashebelievesthatartgivesknowledgeofahigherreality,Deweydoesnot.Croceassertsthat
DeweyisstillarguingagainstHegeliansofhisyouthwhoheld,forexample,toanotionoftheAbsolute,
whichCrocehadrejected.Dewey(1948),inrespondingtoCroce,arguesthatthelistofsharedbeliefsCroce
mentionedinhisreviewwerejustideaswidelyfamiliartoaestheticians.HethinksthatbecauseofCroce's
idealismtherecanbenocommongroundofdiscussionbetweenthem.Healsomakesanunsatisfactory
distinctionbetweenpragmatism,whichheclaimsisatheoryofknowledge,andaesthetictheory,whichhe
thinkshasnothingtodowithknowledge.Also,heseemsinconsistentlydualistwhen,inhisreplytoCroce,
hecutshisownsystemintotwoparts,pragmaticandaesthetic.HiscriticismthatCroceissimplyapplyingto
thedomainofaestheticsideasdrawnfromapreconceivedsystemofphilosophy,seemsunfair,sincehedoes
thistosomeextenthimself.Inhisreply,Croce(1952)arguesthatDeweyistooweddedtoempiricismand
pragmatismandthatitisonlybecauseDewey,contrarytohisownclaims,iscommittedtoakindofdualism,
thathecannotunderstandCroce'sidentificationofintuitionandexpressionorrecognizehowsimilarCroce's
viewistohisown.Simoni(1952)arguesthatneitherCrocenorDeweywereHegelianinthesenseof
believingintheAbsolute.Douglas(1970)agreeswithSimoni,findingmanysimilaritiesbetweenDeweyand
Croce.However,DouglasdoesagreewithPepper(1939)thatDeweyneverreconciledthepragmatistand
historicist(Hegelian)dimensionsofhisthought.

Romanell(1949)heldthatCroceandDeweyatleastsharetheviewthatartisaboutaestheticexperience.
However,Dewey'sdefinitionofthesubjectmatterofphilosophyofartasaestheticexperience(whichtreats
itasaspecialtypeofexperience)isinconsistentwithhisdefinitionofitastheaestheticphaseofexperience.
Also,whenDeweyspeaksofaestheticexperienceheisnotfunctionalistandisnotconsistentwithhis
pragmatism.Deweyshouldhaveheldthatjustasthereisnosuchthingasreligiousexperience,thereisno
suchthingasaestheticexperience.Dewey(1950)repliedthateverynormallycompleteexperienceis
aestheticinitsconsummatoryphase,thattheartsandtheirexperiencearedevelopmentsofthisprimary
phase,andthatthereisnothinginconsistentinthis.WhereRomanellseesincompatibilityDeweysees
continuityofdevelopment.Ames(1953)providesanexcellentdefenseagainstDewey'scriticsuptothis
pointintime.HoweverSusanneLanger(1954)attackedDeweyforholdingthataestheticvaluesmustbe
directsatisfactionsorinstrumentalvalues,conflatingtheaestheticwiththemundane(Kruse2007).

Asmentionedearlier,manyattacksonDeweyfocusedonhisviewsonexpression.AlthoughHospers(1946)
doesnotspecificallycriticizehim,andBouwsma(1954)doesnotmentionhim,theirattacksonexpression
theorycanbetakentobeindirectlyagainstDewey.Tormey(1986)fillsthisgap.HechidesDeweyfor
assumingthatanartistisalwaysexpressingsomethingandthattheexpressivequalitiesintheworkarethe
resultofthatact.HethinksthatDeweywronglyabandonsthedistinctionbetweenvoluntaryandinvoluntary
expression,andindoingso,underminesparadigmaticexamplesofexpressivebehavior.Aworkofartmay
possessexpressivequalitiesofsadnessbutthisisnotnecessarilytheintendedconsequenceoftheproductive
activityoftheartist.ForTormey,theartistisnotexpressinghimorherself:he/sheissimplymakingan
expressiveobject.Mitias(1992)defendsDeweyagainstthesecriticisms.

Scruton(1974)objectsmainlytoDewey'snaturalism.HethinksthatDeweyinsiststhataestheticneedmust
underlieallourinterestinart,andthathefailstocapturewhatwemeanwhenwesaythatweareinterested
inapictureforitsownsake.Needscanbesatisfiedbymanyobjectsbutonecannotsubstitutepicturesfor
oneanother.Unlikeanimalneed,interestinapictureinvolvesthoughtofitsobject.Asapolitical
conservative,ScrutonhasbeenopposedtoDewey'sviewsoneducation.However,hisworkonarchitecture
(Scruton1979),withitsemphasisoncontext,unity,functionalism,andtherelationsbetweenarchitectureand
everydayaesthetics,areremarkablysimilartoDewey'sviewsaboutartingeneral,althoughDewey'snameis
nevermentioned.

JohnMcDermott(1976)followedDeweyinarguingthatallexperienceispotentiallyaesthetic,wherethe
aestheticsensibilityreferstohowwefeelaboutoursituation.Arttodayleadsustolife.Inordertoachieve
consummatoryexperienceweneedtocooperatewithourenvironment.

AlthoughBeardsley(1982)oftenspeakspositivelyofDewey'snotionofaestheticexperience,hethinksthat
Deweywasobsessedwiththedangersofdualismandthathetalkedaboutseparationinamisleadingway.
Deweythinksthepracticesofhangingpaintingsinspecialbuildingswoulddenycontinuitybetweenartand
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life.YetBeardsleyseesnorealproblemhere,forpeoplewhoseeapaintinginamuseumbringtheirculture
withthem.Also,againstDewey'sstressoncontinuity,Beardsleythinksthatdiscontinuityinnatureandin
cultureisrequiredfortheemergenceofgenuinenoveltyinart.AsopposedtoDewey,Beardsleystressesthe
waysinwhichartisindependent,relativelyselfsufficient,andautonomoustoadegree.Goldman(2005)
arguesthatBeardsleyborrowstoomuchfromDewey'sobscurediscussionofexperience,butarticulates
betterthanDeweytheideathataestheticexperienceisamatterofcompleteengagementofourfacultieswith
bothinstrumentalandintrinsicbenefits.

Novitz(1992),whoapprovesofDewey'sideasthatartderivesfromexperiencesofeverydaylifeandthatthe
artisticprocessinfusesourdailylives,questionstheideathatfineartalwaysembodiesconsummatoryor
unifiedexperiences.HethinksDeweyhasanidealizedviewofartthatborrowsfromtheveryaestheticist
theorieshecriticizes,andthatDeweydoesnotsufficientlyquestiontheboundariesofart.

Shusterman(1992,etc.,seebibliography)isthemostwidelyknownadvocateofDewey'spragmatist
aesthetics.HestrikinglycontrastsDewey'sapproachtothatofanalyticaesthetics.LikeDewey,hestresses
theideathatartandaestheticsarebothculturallyandphilosophicallycentral.Someofhismosttrenchant
commentsinvolvesimilaritiesbetweenDewey'sthoughtandsuchcontinentalthinkersasFoucaultand
Adorno.HoweverhealsohashiscriticismsofDewey.HetakesDeweytoberedefiningartintermsof
aestheticexperience,whichhebelievestobetooslipperyaconcepttoexplainmuch.Moreover,heasserts
thatalthoughDeweyhasmuchtosayaboutaestheticexperience,Deweyalsoholdsthatitisindefinable,and
thisleadstoproblemswithitsbeingacriterionofvalueinart.Ontheotherhand,Shustermanthinksthat
Deweyseesdefiningartintermsofexperienceasamatterofgettingustohavemoreandbetterexperiences
withart,andnotofgivingadefinitionintermsofnecessaryandsufficientconditions.So,althoughhedoubts
thatphilosophicaltheorycanredefineart,hesuspectsDeweyisnottryingtodothisanyway.Moreover,he
thinksitnotonlypossiblebutvaluabletomakelessdramaticclassificatorychanges,asforexamplein
legitimatingrockmusicasfineart.HebelievesthatwhereasDeweysoughtaglobalredefinitionofart,heis
simplytryingtoremedycertainlimitationsinartpractice.Later,he(Shusterman2000)hassaidthatmuchart
failstogenerateDewey'saestheticexperience.Healsoobservesthatartcannotberedefinedtobeequalto
aestheticexperienceaswearehardlygoingtoreclassifyanincredibleexperienceofasunsetasart.
Shustermanalsoinsistsonthevalueofaestheticexperiencesthatarefragmentedandruptured,contraryto
Dewey'semphasisonunity,andnotesthatDeweyneglectedthepossibilityoflingeringreflectionafter
momentsofconsummation(Shusterman2004).PaulC.Taylor(2002)addressesShusterman'sreadingof
Dewey.

Seigfried(1996b)takesalongoverduefeministlookatDewey'saesthetics,findingseveralaspectsthatmay
enrichfeministexplorationofwomen'sexperiences,includinghisantidualism,hisperspectivalism,his
workingfromconcreteexperience,hisemphasisplacedontheroleoffeelinginexperience,hisemphasison
doingandmaking,andhisattackonthedivisionbetweenpracticeandtheory.HowevershenotesthatDewey
neglectedsexisminhisanalysis,andsometimesmadesexistassumptions.

Carroll(2001)thinksDewey'stheoryofartfailstocovermanycontemporaryworkswhichthenactas
counterexamplestohisdefinitionofartasexperience.Forexample,asRothko'spaintingscanoverwhelmus
atoneshottheymaynothaveDewey'srequisitedevelopmentandclosure.Carrollalsothinksthattheview
thatexperiencesofartmustbeunifiedistoonarrow.Cage's433,whichCarrolltakestoobviouslybea
workofart,doesnotconsummateorhavequalitativeunity.Finally,hethinksthatifexperiencesofeveryday
dispersioncanbeaestheticthenDewey'sdistinctionbetweenanexperienceanddisconnecteddaily
experiencedissolves.However,Jackson(1998)defendsDeweyagainstsimilarcriticisms,especiallywith
respecttoCage's433whichheseesasfittingDewey'sdefinitionnicely.ForJackson,itistheexperience
thatrequiresunity,notthephysicalproduct.

Dickie(2001)saysthatDeweysetsforthanexpressiontheoryofartwithoutanysupportingargument.
LumpingDeweywithCollingwood,hethinkssuchtheoristsplaceartinthesamedomainwiththegrowlofa
dogwithabone.Theymakethecreationofartlikethebowerbird'sproductionofbowers,i.e.,aresultof
innatenatureswithoutaplaninmind.ForDickie,expressionofemotionisneithersufficientnornecessary
fordefiningart.Hethinksthesetheorieswronglyholdthatpsychologicalmechanismsinhumannatureare
sufficientfortheproductionofart,asiftheproductionofartworksisteleologicallydeterminedby
psychologicalmechanisms.

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Freeland(2001)observesthatDeweyheldthatartisthebestwindowtoanotherculture,thatitisauniversal
language,andthatweshouldtrytoexperienceanothercultureasfromwithin.Itispossibleforbarriersand
prejudicestomeltawaywhenweenterintothespiritofanotherculture'sart.Althoughthisuniversalism
seemssimilartoCliveBell'sformalism,FreelandnotesthatforDeweyartisdefinednotasformbutas
expressionofthelifeofcommunity.Shethinkshoweverthatwemustalsoknowmanyexternalfactsabout
thecommunity,andthatwemustrecognizethatnocultureishomogeneous:theremaynotbeoneviewpoint
inaculture.ShealsogivesapositivenodtoDewey'scallforarevolutioninwhichthevaluesleadingto
intelligentenjoymentofartareincorporatedintooursocialrelations.Finally,sheclassifiesDewey's
aestheticsasacognitivetheorysinceitfocusesonart'sroleinhelpingpeopletoperceiveandmanipulate
reality,findingcontinuitybetweenDewey'sandGoodman'sapproachestoartasakindoflanguage.

Dewey'sthoughtinaestheticshasalsosometimesbeenbroughttobearinanalysisofotheraspectsofhis
philosophy.NoteworthyinthisregardistheethicalworkofPappas(2008),especiallyhischaptertitledThe
Intelligent,Aesthetic,andDemocraticWayofLife.HerehediscussesDewey'saestheticnotionofbalance
asitappliestoethics.Johnson(1994)andFesmire(1999,2003)alsointroduceDewey'saesthetictheories
intodiscussionofethics.ScottStroud(2011)furtherdevelopstheDeweyanideaofmoralselfcultivationas
selfcultivation,whileNathanCrick(2010)appliesDewey'saestheticideastoaconceptionofrhetoricasan
artwhichinademocracypromotesfreedom.

RecentlytherehavebeenlivelydebatesovertheDeweyantraditionintheaestheticsofeverydaylife.Most
ofthecontestantsareinspiredbyDewey'svaluationofeverydayaestheticexperiencebutdepartfromhimin
variousways.Irvin(2008a)hasarguedthatthefragmentedcharacterofeverydayaestheticexperiences
might,contraDewey'semphasisonconsummation,bewhatgivesthemtheirdistinctivequality.Shegoesso
farastoassertthatevenscratchinganitchcanbeaestheticallyappreciated(Irvin2008b).Parsonsand
Carlson(2008)contendthat,althoughDewey'saesthetictheorymayseemparticularlyappropriateto
appreciatingeverydayobjectssinceweinteractwiththeminamoreintimateandmultisensorywaythan
withartobjects,thisapproach,sharedbyKorsmeyer(1999),Brady(2005),Leddy(2005,2012),Shusterman
(2006a,2012),Saito(2007),failstohonortraditionaldistinctionsbetweenaestheticandmerebodily
pleasures.TheymighthavealsomentionedKuehn(2005)whotakesanexplicitlyDeweyanapproachtothe
aestheticsoffood,andMandoki(2007)whotakesDeweyasonesourceofhereverydayaesthetics.They
thinkitwrongthatthepleasuresoftakingabath,forexample,couldbeconsideredaesthetic.Rather,the
objectsofeverydayaestheticshouldbeappreciatedmainlyfortheirfunctionalbeauty(pleasuresofthe
proximalsensesarenotaesthetic,althoughtheymaystilladdsomevaluetotheoverallexperience),and
knowledgeofthefunctionofeverydayobjectsisrequiredfortheirappropriateappreciation.Soucek(2009)
andDowling(2010)raisecriticismsagainsteverydayaestheticsalongsimilarlines.HoweverPuolakka
(2014)defendsaDeweyanapproachtoeverydayaestheticsdrawingonhistheoryofimaginationandon
recentworkonDeweyandmoralimagination.

Deweycontinuestohaveinfluencewithrespecttoparticularartforms.ForexampleDavidClowneyand
RobertRawlins(2014)useDeweytoarguethatrisktakingandshowmanshipareintegraltomusicas
performed.AiliBresnahan(2014)developsaDeweyantheoryofperformingartspracticewithaspecial
viewtodance.

ItisamarkoftheenduranceandpowerofDewey'saesthetictheorythatithasbeensofrequentlycriticized
anddefendedfromsomanydifferentangles.Althoughmanyofthesecriticismsrestonanincompleteor
distortedunderstandingsofDewey'sthoughttherearealsomanythatshouldbeansweredbyanyonewho
seekstocarryonDewey'slegacy.

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itsProblems.ItalsoincludesexplicationofmaterialfromArtasExperiencenotincludedinthe
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ChinaInstitute,foundedin1926byJohnDewey,HuShih,PaulMonroe,andDr.KuoPingwen.
Ho,Y.,Sept.2004,ChinaInstituteandColumbiaUniversity,presentedattheColumbia'sChina
ConnectionConferenceatColumbiaUniversity.
TheBarnesFoundation
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DictionaryofArtandArtists,2011,EscuelasdePinturaalAireLibre,(accessedJuly14,2001).
DemocracyandEducation,byJohnDewey,freeebookavailableProjectGutenberg.
TheJohnDeweySociety.
EducationandCulture,thejournaloftheJohnDeweySociety.
EpistemelinkspageonDewey,ThispageincludeslinkstoelectronictextsofsomeofDewey'sworks.
ExceptsfromExperienceandNature.
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JohnDewey,AmericanPragmatist,atpragmatism.org.
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