Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Educational Science Department, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


Dewey's book "Art as Experience", can be considered as a manifesto of pragmatist aesthetics, in which Dewey uses the insights of Darwinian theory of evolution and his pragmatist principles through focusing on the concept of "experience" and aesthetic experience, to bring art back to the everyday life of human beings in today's world. Although, Dewey's view of experience in its general sense, as an interaction between human and his/her environment, has a Darwinian basis, but as Dewey's analysis shows, especially in his describing about the aesthetic experience, the concept of experience goes beyond the Darwinian conception and takes cultural and social dimensions. In this article, meanwhile reviewing the meaning of experience in Dewey's thinking and the relationship between aesthetic experience and the experience in its general sense, we try to show the connection between art and life by relying on Dewey's views in "Art as Experience". In addition, we attempt to demonstrate, most of the examples that Dewey cites as the basis of aesthetic experiences are positive life experiences, and by doing so, he unintentionality ignores negative experiences and reduces the circle of aesthetic experience to pleasant experiences.


Main Subjects

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  • Dewey, John (1925) Experience and Nature, London: George Allen & Unwin, LTD.
  • Dewey, John (2001) Education and Democracy, A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication, Pennsylvania State University.
  • Dewey, John (1980) Art as Experience, New York: A Wideview/ Perigee Book.
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  • Shusterman, Richard (2000) Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art, 2nd Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.