PassageOne: The live creature
Inthis excerpt, Dewey tries to explain the need for a reinstatement ofa sense of continuity between art and the appealing nature of theartistic experience. He wants to put across that the finer and visualaspects of understandings derived from an artistic work, and dailyoccurrences and undertakings, are commonly accepted as constituentsof experience. He notes that ignorance plays a key role into luringpeople to assume that the relationship between art and aestheticawareness lowers their prominence and dignity.
Heargues that existing notions concerning art and aesthetic detach artfrom daily experiences. According to him, this separates the artisticaspect of nature from the community that ensures its perpetuity. Thecontinuous or aimless glorification of art prevents people fromacknowledging the significance or the beauty of art in their dailyactivities. This reduces the meaning of art, which threatens itsaesthetic beauty. The concentration of art and artistic orientationsminimize the possibility of people to derive enjoyment from it. Itthen becomes boring or just another element in their lives, whichcannot have any meaning or implication.
Thepassage also conveys the notion that experiences convey the idea thatan individual is connected to the outside world in the sense thatthere is a bond between the self and the characterizations of theworld such as objects and occurrences. For this reason, theexperience is characterized as the fulfillment that an individualderives from the difficulties of the world and he strives to succeedor make ends meet (Alexander,2012).Therefore, art can also be found in non-art factors, for examplethrough one`s daily experiences at work, or occurrences during theday because these experiences embody the intrinsic aesthetic valuethat shows one is alive and living.
Significanceof the passage
Theideas presented by John Dewey through the excerpt from "the livecreature" are interesting and thought provoking. It is indeedtrue that overly praising the fine form of art can cloud thesignificance and bonding that can be established in other types ofart. It calls for people to recognize the other available forms ofart and acknowledge their validity as well.
Thispassage throws light into Dewey’s teachings on “Art asExperience.” These findings can also be applied in the modern worldbecause the message is relevant and can be applied to teach people tolearn how to appreciate other forms of art. In writing this work,Dewey was primarily interested in reforming the bond betweenaesthetic occurrences and experiences associated with fine art. Byextending the idea of aesthetic to daily experiences in life, peoplecan be able to uncover the extensive foundation on which refinedexperiences are based.
Essentially,Dewey is criticizing the modern living. This is because of theancient artistic fulfillment that people derived from virtuallyeverything in life no longer exists. Today, people are fixated onfine art, and as a result, it creates a wave of monotony, andeventually people become bored and therefore do not derive anysignificance from it. In the past, Dewey tries to make the impressionthat objects were aesthetically treasured because people expressedinterest in their artistic value. This interest was expressed invarious forms including considerations about the significance of theitems, and their social context. To reinforce his argument, Deweyincluded the example of Athenians and their artistic of theParthenon, a famous Greek building (Crick,2012).He reckons that this construction project fulfilled particular needsof the Athenians these needs did not fit into the category of art,but they induced aesthetic experiences to the people and theirreligion.
Passage2: The Need for Recovery of Philosophy
Amongthe controversies that ancient philosophical literature face is theattribute of observed circumstances, those focusing on rationallyobserved controversies. These may be chosen to be given moreattention to determine their relevance. The result of thecontroversies come in two ways: First, the linkages have similarcharacteristics, both in fact as well as name. Secondly, if true,though driven by the fact of thought, or observation, are based onrandom results of past philosophical arguments. The stubbornattachment of orthodox observations is the most observable trend.Therefore, the opposed knowledge and reason find no place to continueholding philosophical knowledge at ransom.
Significanceof the Passage
Deweysuggests that philosophy is in need of a serious recovery because thefoundation of philosophy does not lead to solving problems. Hebelieved that the philosophical tendency is dwelling in intellectualor academic matters (Benjamin,2014).Moreover, the intellectual advancements are much-unconnected fromwhat stands as reality. Therefore, based on this fact, Deweyarticulated the need to bring change into the field of philosophy.Even though the knowledge of the past exists, Dewey believes thatthey no longer stand as best sources of the solutions. Philosophy,according to Dewey, is conservative in an unusual way it isconservative by clinging to problems rather than providing solutionsto existing challenges (Benjamin,2014).
Inthe opinion of Dewey, pragmatism is a better approach to bringingtransformation because it tries to establish workable solutions.Pragmatism focuses on solving problems through the revelation oftruth. He seems to establish the discourse of philosophy byconnecting it to experience (Benjamin,2014).In this regard, he puts forward his argument regarding the need forrecovery and the thought that of pragmatism is a groundbreakingsolution for the current complacency. He asserts that philosophy as aforce can connect people to experience. Moreover, individuals alreadyhave this tool, and they must be willing to use it to gain from thebenefits (Shusterman,2014).
Deweyargues that humans face the difficulty of establishing responses tothe problems that they face. The problems have to be faced in a waythat leads to beneficial changes. However, before these changes canhappen, they have to be willing to embrace pragmatism and disown thetraditional unproductive nature of philosophy (Shusterman,2014).This is the only way we can recreate the value of philosophy bymaking it beneficial to reality. This theory is coherent to Dewey’scriticism for the classical epistemology. His working focusesprimarily on exposing his perceptions regarding the conceptualincoherence that exists in the traditional philosophical literature.To shed more light on this subject, Dewey delves into the religiousconcerns on psychic immortality (Shusterman,2014).
Thispassage epitomizes Dewey’s perceptions that we live in a worldwhere our experiences are both individual and collective. Theconsistent, as well as transitory aspects of viewing things, allowsus to view the human perceptions. Dewy is not compromised by worldlyknowledge or traditional philosophical terms. His motivation stemsfrom the fact that various events are connected to each other throughpatterns of development and change (Frega,2014).All situations that humans face arise from pre-determined conditions,which lead to consequences. However, the instrumental value ofestablishing an understanding of the events and patterns should notblind human beings to the qualitative and immediate aspects of theevents that characterize our history (Benjamin,2014).It epitomizes his view of maintaining objectivity and stimulatingvalue through philosophy.
Passage3: Renascent Liberalism
Wecannot get an answer to the question through disagreements. The bestway of implementing an experimental method is through conducting theactual experiment. The only way to find the answers to the existingquestions is by trying the experiments in an organized manner. Thereason for making the trial are obvious. They are found in thedisarray, improbability, and conflicts that characterize thecontemporary world. The reason for imagining that the work done willbe fruitful is also rare. Their foundations are in the types ofexperimental, as well as cooperative intelligence that has alreadymanaged to restrict the potential of the utilization of human energy.In material production, the method of intellectual proof stands asthe established rule. To move away from this rule would be subjectingourselves back to the institution of philosophical slavery. It isimportant to take caution not to slip away from the gains made inestablishing philosophical relevance in the society. Theresponsibility that we now have is to endeavor to move on andestablish the gains made. We should only stop when the experimental,as well as intellectual methods of control, establish as benchmarksof the social integration and social guidance. We can decide tochoose this promising path, or we accept that the problem of thesocial organization regarding human liberty as well as thefruitfulness of human capacities has no workable solutions.
Significanceof the passage
Fromthis passage, it is clear that Dewey acknowledges the fact thatpeople start out as parts of communities, in collective living andthat the family acts as the first community. According to him, afamily is a place where individuals undergo nurturing and establishacquaintances. Throughout his work, he talks about social communitiesand the modeling of individuals by those communities. He widely usesthe example of infants and their connection to their mothers andother members of their extended families.
Therefore,this passage stresses the importance of social bonding. It advocatesfor a collective effort to ensure that people live together as oneunit without forgetting their origin. This ideology is very profoundin Dewey’s work in that unlike other philosophers he acknowledgesthat people have to undergo molding by the community and that they donot grow while fully formed like grass (Clark,2013).He does not lose focus on the fact that human beings begin theirlives in the loving arms of other individuals.
Earlierin his thoughts, Dewey used the term “interaction” to representassociations that influence each other. However, he later changed itto “transaction” after noting that things can relate with eachother without resulting in any significant physical outcomes on theindividual objects (Clark,2013).As such, communities represent a critical element in people`s livesbecause they determine the outcome of the individuals as they growup. In the same way, the individual members help in shaping thesociety, particularly the young blood. This is related to theirimmature nature, which enhances their flexibility, ability to adapt,openness, and growth. This boils down to the recommendation that thecommunity should function liberally.
Alexander,T. M. (2012). JohnDewey`s theory of art, experience, and nature: The horizons offeeling.SUNY Press.
Benjamin,A. (2014). Translationand the Nature of Philosophy (Routledge Revivals): A New Theory ofWords.Routledge.
Clark,J. P. (2013). Theimpossible community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism.Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Crick,N. (2012). Democracyand Rhetoric: John Dewey on the Arts of becoming.Univ of South Carolina Press.
Frega,R. (2014). Between pragmatism and critical theory: Social philosophytoday. HumanStudies, 37(1),57-82.
Shusterman,R. (2016). Practicingphilosophy: Pragmatism and the philosophical life.Routledge.