Download PDF by John Dewey: Art as Experience

By John Dewey

Based on John Dewey's lectures on esthetics, brought because the first William James Lecturer at Harvard in 1932, Art as Experience has grown to be thought of across the world because the such a lot unusual paintings ever written via an American at the formal constitution and attribute results of all of the arts: structure, sculpture, portray, track, and literature.

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Such an experience is a whole and carries with it its own indi vidualizing quality and self-sufficiency. It is an experience. Philosophers, even empirical philosophers, have spoken for the most part of experience at large. Idiomatic speech, however, refers to experiences each of which is singular, having its own beginning and end. For life is no uniform uninterrupted march or flow. It is a thing of histories, each with its own plot, its own inception and movement toward its close, each having its own 35 36 ART AS EXPERIENCE particular rhythmic movement; each with its own unrepeated quality pervading it throughout.

Things are experienced but not in such a way that they are composed into an experience. There is distraction and dispersion; what we observe and what we think, what we desire and what we get, are at odds with each other. We put our hands to the plow and turn back; we start and then we stop, not because the experience has reached the end for the sake of which it was initiated but because of extraneous inter ruptions or of inner lethargy. In contrast with such experience, we have an experience when the material experienced runs its course to fulfillment.

Incense, stained glass, the chiming of unseen bells, embroidered robes ac company the approach to what is regarded as divine. The con nection of the origin of many arts with primitive rituals becomes more evident with every excursion of the anthropologist into the past. Only those who are so far removed from the earlier ex periences as to miss their sense will conclude that rites and 30 ART AS EXPERIENCE ceremonies were merely technical devices for securing rain, sons, crops, success in battle.

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