Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 20 January 2007


1. Introduction

Dewey’s renewed influence was due in part to increased interest in various continental aestheticians. The similarities between Dewey and Merleau-Ponty are the most striking (Kestenbaum 1977), but he also shares certain features with Gadamer (Gilmour 1987, who also notes important differences, and Jeannot 2001). Given his critique of capitalism, one can also find connections between his thinking and Marxist aestheticians, particularly Adorno (Lysaker 1998). Some contemporary feminist aestheticians have come to realize that Dewey speaks to them and shares many of their concerns, for example their rejection of mind/body dualism, their democratic instincts, their contextualism, and their tendency to break down traditional distinctions (Seigfried 1996a, Duran 2001). There has also been some work on marked similarities between Dewey’s aesthetic thought and that of Taoism (Grange 2001), Transcendental Meditation (Zigler 1982), Dogen’s version of Zen (Earls 1992), and the great Indian aesthetician, Abhinavagupta (Mathur 1981).

An interesting aspect of Dewey’s writing, and perhaps another reason for the lack of on-going positive reception, was his lack of strong interest in the history of aesthetics. He seldom explicated or critiqued the aesthetic works of others. Although full of quotations, Art as Experience originally lacked adequate footnotes.

Although William James did not write in aesthetics, his psychological views had a strong influence on Dewey’s aesthetics. Dewey never cites Karl Marx, perhaps because he was so committed in his public life to defending an anti-communist form of social liberalism. However his views on the relation between art and society were very close to those of Marx, especially the young Marx. Another figure hovering in the background was Sigmund Freud, for although in other books he is critical of Freud’s hypostatization of entities within the unconscious, in Art as Experience he gives subconscious processes a significant role in the creative process.

Dewey’s methodology may be off-putting to readers trained in analytic philosophy. He was not much given to argument. (See Aldrich 1944, for a partial defense of Dewey’s philosophical method.) However, he did give reasons for rejecting other leading theories in the field. Nor was he adverse to public debate in philosophical journals. Given his emphasis on experience, his method was somewhat similar to that of phenomenologists in the tradition of Edmund Husserl. Yet, unlike Husserl, he was strongly committed to a scientific world-view and did not bracket scientific knowledge in his search for philosophical understanding. His anti-dualism would have also made him hostile to Husserl’s Cartesian tendencies.

2. Early Psychological Aesthetic Theory

Dewey emphasizes the importance of rhythm to our psychic lives, both in perception and in expression. The soul tends to express its most intimate states, especially emotion, in rhythmic form. Poetry, he thinks, is “an earlier and more natural mode of expression than prose” (161). Music is the earliest art. Dance is the earliest form of physical activity. Rhythm is defined as the mind’s reduction of variety to unity or its breaking unity into variety. It happens when certain beats are emphasized at regular intervals, and it requires that elements be organized temporally, through the mind being carried back and forth, to form a whole. It is not confined to the arts but is pervasive in our experience of time.

[Frequency/Planck, wave function/collapse]

4. Experience and Nature

Dewey has the most to say about aesthetics in Chapter Nine, “Experience, Nature and Art.” The structure of the argument is unfortunately, vague when compared to his later masterpiece, Art as Experience. He begins with the Greeks who saw experience as exemplified in technical skill, and hence as equivalent to art, but who unfortunately downgraded experience when compared to reason. For them, everything in experience, and in art, was contingent. Modern thought sees art as simply an addition to nature, although it eulogizes art—especially fine art. Like the Greeks, it denigrates the practical, but it does so because it considers it subjectively distorted.

Dewey has two main points in this chapter: that science is an art, and that art is a “practice.” The only distinction between modes of practice should be between those that are intelligent and give immediate enjoyment through charged meaning, including fine art, and those that do not (358). If this distinction was maintained art would then be seen as the culmination of natural processes, and “science” (improperly so called) as merely a helpful means for achieving this end. The various dualisms of nature and experience, art and science, and so forth, would disappear.

Dewey believed that art unifies the necessary and the free aspects of nature, and thus that artistic acts are both inevitable and spontaneous. Unexpected combination is required for art: order and proportion are not the whole story. The more extensive the uniformities of nature in art, the greater the art, as long as they are fused with our wonder for the new.

Dewey rejects the theory that art is a mere medium for emotion. This does not mean he believes that emotion is irrelevant to art. Emotion is evoked by objects, and is a response to an objective situation. The origin of artistic creation is in emotional response to a situation. Contrary to Clive Bell (1958, originally 1913), he holds that significant form can only refer to forms that give significance to everyday subject-matters. Art does not create these forms. The forms that give us pleasure do so because of their structure. Dewey was not anti-formalist, however. Although formalist art-works can be sterile or pedantic, they may also enlarge and enrich our world by way of training our perception.

5. Qualitative and Affective Thought

Dewey’s concept of quality extends far beyond aesthetics. Generally, situations are held together by a single quality. Since the situation is metaphysically primary, objects and their relations can only be explained by referring to it. The object of thought is a quality that is directly and unreflectively had. The total pervasive quality is the “given.” It is that to which all thought refers, and this is true even though it is not directly present to thought.

Dewey thinks that the refusal to admit that there is thought in artistic construction is a failing of traditional logic. For something to be a true work of art the parts must hang together, reinforcing each other and the pervasive quality. Although analysis of works of art often uses terms like symmetry and harmony, which may in turn be formulated mathematically, it is not necessary for either the artist or the viewer to perceive these relations. The underlying quality demands distinctions, and this gives the work its necessity. We may see a picture by Goya and recognize it instantly as by Goya because of the quality it has as a whole. Although further analysis may cause us to reject our initial recognition, that recognition is, when appreciative, more dependable than analysis.

In “Affective Thought,” Dewey argues against separation between physiological processes and high culture, between art and science, and between thought and emotion. When these dualisms hold, the resultant compartmentalization leaves little room for living life for its own sake. Psychology shows that reasoning is not just intellectual but is based on a play of intellectual and affective activities.

6. Art as Experience

Dewey somewhat surprisingly begins this work with the claim that the very existence of works of art hinders any aesthetic theory that seeks to understand them. Art products exist externally and physically, whereas, on his view, the work of art is really what the physical object does within experience. Also the classic status of many works of art isolates them from the conditions within which they came to be, and hence from their experiential function. The business of aesthetics is to restore the continuity between the refined experiences that are works of art and the experiences of everyday life. We must, in short, turn away from artistic products to ordinary experience. To understand the Parthenon, which is widely believed to be a great work of art, one must turn to cultural context of Athens and the lives of the citizens who were expressing their civic religion through its creation.

There are, however, still people in the world who admire whatever intensifies immediate experience. Practices and artifacts from traditional cultures were, in their original contexts, enhancements of everyday life. Dance, pantomime, music, and architecture were originally connected with religious rites, not with theaters and museums. In those days the various arts consummated the meaning of the community.

For Dewey, experience should be understood in terms of the conditions of life. Man shares with animals certain basic vital needs, and derives the means for satisfying these needs from his animal nature. Life goes on not only in an environment but in interaction with that environment. The live creature uses its organs to interact with the environment through defense and conquest. Every need is a lack of adequate adjustment to the environment, and also a demand to restore adjustment—and each recovery is enriched by resistance met and overcome.

The artist, especially, cultivates resistance and tension to achieve a unified experience. By contrast, although the scientist, like the artist, is interested in problems, she always seeks to move on to the next problem. Yet both artist and scientist are concerned with the same materials, both think, and both have their aesthetic moments. The aesthetic moment for the scientist happens when her thought becomes embedded as meaning in the object. The artist’s thought is more immediately embodied in the object as she works and thinks in her medium.

Dewey held that the sources of aesthetic experience are to found in sub-human animal life. Animals often attain a unity of experience that we lose in our fragmented work-lives. The live animal is fully present with all its senses active, especially when it is graceful. It synthesizes past and future in the present. Similarly, tribal man is most alive when most observant and filled with energy. He does not separate observation, action, and foresight. His senses are not mere pathways for storage. Rather, they prepare him for thought and action. Experience signifies heightened life and active engagement with the world. In its highest form it involves an identification of self and world. Such experience is the beginning of art.

Theorists have often supposed that ethereal meanings and values are inaccessible to sense. This presupposes a nature/spirit dualism which Dewey rejects.

The conscious activity of man develops out of a cooperation of internal needs and external materials that results in a culminating event.

Space and time are also different. For humans, space is not just a void filled with dangers and opportunities. It is a scene for their doings and undergoings. Time, also, is not a mere continuum, but an organized medium of the rhythms of impulse and the processes of growth. These involve pauses and completions that themselves begin new developmental processes. It is form in art that makes clear the organization of space and time in life experience.

In art, man uses the materials and energies of nature to expand life. Art is proof that man can consciously restore the union of sensation, needs, and actions found in animal life. Consciousness adds regulation, selection and variation to this process. The idea of art is, then, humanity’s greatest accomplishment. The Greeks distinguished order from matter, and man from the rest of nature, by way of art. Art, for them, was the guiding ideal for humankind. For Dewey, historically, science was developed as a means to generate other arts, and ultimately it is only their handmaiden.

Dewey thought that those who reject the continuity between everyday experience and fine art fail to see that matter is needed to realize ideals. Nature is man’s habitat, and culture endures because men find a support for it in nature. Culture results from prolonged, cumulative interaction with the environment. We deeply respond to art because of its connection with both cultural and natural experience.

Rather than giving art primacy in aesthetic, Dewey believes that humans only feel properly alive when absorbing the aesthetic features of nature. Aesthetic experience of the natural environment can even take the form of ecstatic communion. This is due to ancient habits gained in the relations between the living being and its environment. Sensuous experience can absorb into itself meanings and values that are designated “ideal” or “spiritual.” Dewey observes that belief that nature is full of spirits is closely tied to poetry. The sensuous surfaces of things incorporate not only what is given by the senses but the most profound insight. Many of the arts originate in primitive rituals which were not simply intended as means to get rain, etc., but for the enhancement of experience. Similarly myth was not just an early form of science.

Dewey concludes that the idea of the supernatural is more a function of the psychology that generates works of art than of science or philosophy. This can be seen by the solemn processions and other artistic phenomena in churches. As Keats rightly observed, any reasoning that excludes imagination and the embodiment of ideas in emotionally charged sense cannot reach truth. For Keats, “truth” meant wisdom, which in turn meant trust in the good. All we need to know, to translate his famous saying, is the insight of imagination exemplified in beauty. It is not surprising then that moments of intense aesthetic perception were Keats’s ultimate solace. The philosophy of Keats, shared by Dewey, accepts life with all its uncertainty and turns that experience into art.

This chapter is Dewey’s most famous writing in aesthetics. Here he defines the important concept of “an experience.” “An experience” is one in which the material of experience is fulfilled or consummated, as for example when a problem is solved, or a game is played to its conclusion. Dewey contrasts this with inchoate experience in which we are distracted and do not complete our course of action. “An experience,” is also marked off from other experiences, containing within itself an individualizing quality. Dewey believes his talk of “an experience” is in accord with everyday usage, even though it is contrary to the way philosophers talk about experience.

In “an experience” every part flows freely into what follows, carrying with it what preceded without sacrificing its identity. The parts are phases of an enduring whole. Nor are there any holes or mechanical dead spots in an experience. Rather, there are pauses that define its quality and sum up what has been undergone.

Contra Locke and Hume, Dewey holds that the trains of ideas in thought are not just linked by association, but involve the development of an underlying quality. Conclusions in thought are similar to the consummating phase of “an experience.” Thinking has its own aesthetic quality. It differs from art only in that its material consists of abstract symbols rather than qualities. The experience of thinking satisfies us emotionally because it is internally integrated, and yet no intellectual activity is integrated in this way unless it has aesthetic quality. Thus, for Dewey, there is no clear separation between the aesthetic and the intellectual.

integral experience (another term for “an experience”)

The structure of “an experience” goes as follows. The subject undergoes something or some properties, these properties determine his or her doing something, and the process continues until the self and the object are mutually adapted, ending with felt harmony. This even holds for the thinker interacting with his or her ideas. When the doing and undergoing are joined in perception they gain meaning. Meaning, in turn, is given depth through incorporating past experience.

A balance is required between doing and undergoing to achieve an experience.

Dewey does not separate artistic practice from intellect. Intelligence is what perceives the relation between doing and undergoing. The artist thinks as intently as the scientist. Thus, thinking should not be identified with using mathematical or verbal symbols. The artist must respond intelligently to every brush stroke to know where she is going. She must see each element in the creative process in relation to the whole to be produced. The quality of her art depends on the intelligence she brings to bear.

Dewey believed it unfortunate that no term covers the act of production and the act of appreciation combined as one thing. Perception and enjoyment of art are often seen as having nothing in common with the creative act. The term “aesthetic” is sometimes used to designate the entire field and sometimes just the perceptual side. Once we see conscious experience as “doing and undergoing” we can see the connection between the productive and appreciative aspects of art. “Art” denotes the process of making something out of physical material that can be perceived by one of the senses. “Aesthetic” refers to experience as both appreciative and perceptive. It is the side of the consumer. And yet, production and consumption should not be seen as separate. Perfection of production is in terms of the enjoyment of the consumer: it is not a mere matter of technique or execution. Craftsmanship is only artistic if it cares deeply about the subject matter and is directed towards enjoyed perception.

Dewey believed that art brings together the same doing/undergoing relation that makes an experience what it is. Something is artistic when the qualities of the result control the process of production. [Is that then the future as cause and the present as effect? Check out:]

The product is aesthetic only if the doing and undergoing are related to form a perceptual whole. This occurs in imagination as well as in observation. The artist must build up a coherent experience continuously through constant change.

art is made for public consumption. [Here is an example of when his critics say he doesn’t take into account art for the artist’s sake…however how else do you word or describe that art is formed by being conscious of how it will be seen in finality even if the only intended viewer is yourself?  Or even the idea that it is an externalization of thought for view, review and refinement-that is public consumption, no?  It may be that he really did mean only public consumption, but the artist himself is a member of the set public. One cannot make art without attention to the ‘product’, even if the intended product is the process. Future cause present effect.]

The activities of the perceiver are comparable to those of the creator. Reception that is full perception, and not mere recognition, is a series of responsive acts resulting in fulfillment. In perception, consciousness becomes alive. Consciousness requires implicit involvement of motor response throughout the organism, which entails that the scene perceived be pervaded by emotion. Although this phase of experience involves surrender, this can only be done through controlled activity, not withdrawal. It is a “going-out” of energy which is also a “plunging” into the subject-matter.

In proper appreciation the beholder must create her own experience in such a way as to include relations similar to those perceived by the artist. Re-creation is required for the object to be seen as a work of art. The beholder as well as the producer selects and simplifies according to her interests, gathering details into a whole.

Experiencing is a rhythm of intake and outgiving between which there are pauses each of which, in turn, incorporates within itself the prior doing. Thus the form of the whole is in each part. The consummation phase of experience is not merely located at the end. For an artist is engaged in completing her work at every stage of the process. And this involves summing up what has gone before.

Mere “giving way” to impulsion does not constitute expression. Expression requires clarification, which for Dewey means an ordering of impulsion by way of incorporating values of prior experiences. Although emotional discharge is necessary for expression, it is not sufficient. To discharge is to get rid of, whereas to express is to carry to completion.

For Dewey, the act of expression is a construction in time. It is a prolonged interaction of self and objective conditions that gives form and order to both. The author only comes to recognize what he/she set out to do with raw materials at the end of a process that began with excitement about the subject matter. That excitement in turn stirs up meanings based on prior experience. These, finally, enter a conscious stage. The fire of inspiration results in either painful disruption or the creation of a refined product in expressive action.

Dewey observes that inspiration has often been attributed to a muse or god because it is based on unconscious sources. It involves inner material finding objective fuel to burn.

In the fifth chapter Dewey turns to the expressive object. He believes that the object should not be seen in isolation from the process that produced it, nor from the individuality of vision from which it came. Theories which simply focus on the expressive object dwell on how the object represents other objects and ignore the individual contribution of the artist. Conversely, theories that simply focus on the act of expressing tend to see expression merely in terms of personal discharge.

The difference between art and science is that art expresses meanings, whereas science states them. A statement gives us directions for obtaining an experience, but does not supply us with experience. That water is H20 tells us how to obtain or test for water. If science expressed the inner nature of things it would be in competition with art, but it does not. Aesthetic art, by contrast to science, constitutes an experience.

Chapter Six begins with a discussion of medium. Dewey asserts that there are many languages of art, each specific to the medium. He believes that meanings expressed in art cannot be translated into words. Moreover, language requires not only speakers but listeners. Thus, in art, the work is not complete until it is experienced by someone other than the artist. Artist, work and audience form a triad, for even when the artist works in isolation she is herself vicariously the audience. [Well, there is the answer to the public consumption problem…and also gives inroads to the dynamic nature of the process.]

Returning to art, Dewey notes that Matisse describes the process of painting in terms of putting down patches of color, which then lose importance as other patches are put down, so that the different colors need to be balanced. Similarly, a homeowner furnishes a room by interrelating the parts in perception. In general, perception consists in a sequence of acts that build up on one another to achieve unity of form. Art only does this more deliberately than ordinary perception. Withing art, form is the working of forces that carry an experience of some thing to fulfillment. Thus, form needs to be appropriate to the subject matter.

For fulfillment or consummation there must be a process of building up values. This requires conserving the meaning of what has preceded. There must also be anticipation of the future in each aspect or phase of the process. Consummation is, then, relative. Dewey concludes from his discussion up to this point that continuity, cumulation, conservation, tension and anticipation are the conditions of aesthetic form.

A true artist cares about the end product as the completion of what went before, not as something conforming to a prior plan.

There is in aesthetic experience a rhythm of surrender and reflection. We interrupt the surrender aspect to attend to the above-mentioned formal conditions.

Dewey believed that there is objectivity in art evaluation based on several factors. First, works of art are parts of the objective world and are conditioned by materials and energies of that world. Second, for an object to be the content of aesthetic experience it must satisfy objective conditions which belong to that world. This is why the artist shows interest in the world, and in her materials.

The first and most important of these objective conditions is rhythm. Rhythm already exists in nature.

For Dewey, every regular change in nature is a rhythm. Science progresses as we refine our understanding of these changes. Science, however, parts ways with art when it presents rhythms through symbols that mean nothing to perception. Nonetheless, even today science and art have a common interest in rhythm. However the rhythms of art in particular are grounded in the basic patterns of the relation of live creature and its environment.

The art product is physical and potential, whereas the work of art is active and experienced. Dewey gives his definition of art in this, the eighth chapter Art as Experience. Contrary to many interpreters, he neither claims that art is identical to expression or to experience. Moreover, like Nelson Goodman later (1978), he asks “when is art?” rather than “what is art?” For Dewey, a work of art happens when the structure of the object interacts with the energies of the subject’s experience to generate a substance that develops cumulatively towards fulfillment. To fully understand this definition we must understand rhythm in greater detail. Rhythm is a matter of perception, not of mere regularity, and thus it includes what is contributed by the self.

It is often thought that there are two kinds of art, spatial and temporal, and that only the latter can have rhythm. But, Dewey argues, perception of rhythm in pictures and sculpture is as essential to their experience as that of music. Rhythm is a matter of bringing about a complete and consummatory experience. The theory that rhythm is literal recurrence, what Dewey calls the tick-tock theory, sees it as merely mechanical. Yet, constant variation is as important to rhythm as is order. Indeed, more variation produces more interesting effects, provided that order is maintained and there is progress towards fulfillment.

Dewey’s thirteenth chapter addresses the nature of criticism. For Dewey, judgment is an act of intelligence performed on perception for the purpose of more adequate perception. It is development in the medium of thought of deeply realized experience. He rejects therefore judicial criticism in which the verdict is central. Such criticism is produced out a desire for authority on the side of critics, and for protection on the part of the audience.

Dewey believes that although there are no standards for critical judgment there are criteria of judgment. Previous discussions of the relation of form and matter, and of the role of medium in art, have addressed this point. These criteria are not rules but rather means of discovering what the work of art is as an experience. The business of criticism is to deepen experience for others through re-educating perception. We fully understand the work only when we go through the same processes the artist went through when producing it, and the critic shares in promoting this process.

Dewey holds that judgment has two main functions: discrimination and unification. The first involves understanding of parts, and the second leads to understanding how they are related to each other and to the whole. The first is analysis, and the second is synthesis. The two are inseparable.

The material of science, philosophy, and the arts is the same: the live creature and its environment. However, whereas science uses its medium to control and predict, art uses its medium to enhance experience.


7. Critical Reactions

The Italian philosopher and aesthetician Benedetto Croce read Dewey’s Art as Experience and responded to it. He rightly pointed out many similarities between his own and Dewey’s thought. (Croce 1948). There were, however, still three points of serious contention: (1) Croce places significantly more importance on the universality of art than Dewey, (2) he still insists that the material of art consists not of external things but of internal sentiments of human passions: a characteristically idealist position that Dewey vehemently rejects, and (3) whereas he believes that art gives knowledge of a higher reality, Dewey does not. Croce asserts that Dewey is still arguing against Hegelians of his youth who held, for example, to a notion of “the Absolute,” which Croce had rejected. Dewey (1948), in responding to Croce, argues that the list of shared beliefs Croce mentioned in his review were just ideas widely familiar to aestheticians. He thinks that because of Croce’s idealism there can be no common ground of discussion between them. He also makes an unsatisfactory distinction between pragmatism, which he claims is a theory of knowledge, and aesthetic theory, which he thinks has nothing to do with knowledge. Also, he seems inconsistently dualist when, in his reply to Croce, he cuts his own system into two parts, pragmatic and aesthetic. His criticism that Croce is simply applying to the domain of aesthetics ideas drawn from a preconceived system of philosophy, seems unfair, since he does this to some extent himself. In his reply, Croce (1952) argues that Dewey is too wedded to empiricism and pragmatism and that it is only because Dewey, contrary to his own claims, is committed to a kind of dualism, that he cannot understand Croce’s identification of intuition and expression or recognize how similar Croce’s view is to his own. Simoni (1952) argues that neither Croce nor Dewey were Hegelian in the sense of believing in the Absolute. Douglas (1970) agrees with Simoni, finding many similarities between Dewey and Croce. However, Douglas does agree with Pepper (1939) that Dewey never reconciled the pragmatist and historicist (Hegelian) dimensions of his thought.

Romanell (1949) held that Dewey’s definition of the subject-matter of philosophy of art as aesthetic experience (which treats it as a special type of experience) is inconsistent with his definition of it as the aesthetic phase of experience. When Dewey speaks of aesthetic experience he is not functionalist and is not consistent with his pragmatism. Dewey should have held that just as there is no such thing as religious experience, there is no such thing as aesthetic experience. Dewey (1950) replied that every normally complete experience is aesthetic in its consummatory phase, that the arts and their experience are developments of this primary phase, and that there is nothing inconsistent in this. Where Romanell sees incompatibility Dewey sees continuity of development. Ames (1953) provides an excellent defense against Dewey’s critics up to this point in time.

Boas (1953) argues that Dewey yearns for universality in art where none can be found. He thinks that Dewey wrongly takes the term “art” to have only one meaning where it has many. Moreover, although some art communicates, other art conceals, and it is wrong to say that all art, or even that all great art, communicates universally. Also, not everyone who practices art is interested in social communion or democracy. Some art is intended for communion with God, not with men, and some art is intended for communion with no one but the artist him or herself.

Seigfried (1996a) takes a long overdue feminist look at Dewey’s aesthetics, finding several aspects that may enrich feminist exploration of women’s experiences, including his antidualism, his perspectivalism, his working from concrete experience, his emphasis placed on the role of feeling in experience, his emphasis on doing and making, and his attack on the division between practice and theory. However she notes that Dewey neglected sexism in his analysis, and sometimes made sexist assumptions.

Carroll (2001) thinks Dewey’s theory of art fails to cover many contemporary works which then act as counterexamples to his definition of art as experience. For example, as Rothko’s paintings can just overwhelm us at one shot they may not have Dewey’s requisite development and closure. Carroll also thinks that the view that experiences of art must be unified is too narrow. Cage’s 4’33”, which Carroll takes to obviously be a work of art, does not consummate or have qualitative unity. Finally, Carroll thinks that if experiences of everyday dispersion can be aesthetic then Dewey’s distinction between “an experience” and disconnected daily experience dissolves. But see Jackson (1998) for a defense of Dewey against similar criticisms, especially with respect to Cage’s 4’33” which Jackson sees as fitting Dewey’s definition nicely. For Jackson, it is the experience that requires unity, not the physical product.

Dickie (2001) says that Dewey sets forth an expression theory of art without any supporting argument. Lumping Dewey with Collingwood, he thinks such theorists place art in the same domain with the growl of a dog with a bone. They make art creation like the production of bowers by birds, i.e. a result of innate natures without a plan in mind. For Dickie, expression of emotion is neither sufficient nor necessary for defining art. He thinks these theories wrongly hold that psychological mechanisms in human nature are sufficient for the production of art, as if the production of artworks is teleologically determined by psychological mechanisms.


Leddy, Tom, “Dewey’s Aesthetics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2006 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =



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