john dewey / art as experience

luctor et emergo

john dewey art as experience

In the first and second chapters of his 1934 book Art as Experience, “The Live Creature” and “Having an Experience,” the American philosopher John Dewey begins to lay down his aesthetic theory with a primary emphasis on experience. Dewey wastes no time cutting to what he sees as a central problem with aesthetic theory. Common misconceptions hold that aesthetics and artworks are distinctly separate, and that art and daily experience are held apart. This binary way of approaching the activities and practices of art needs to be avoided to make an appeal for the primacy of experience. The aim of this paper will be to explicate Dewey’s implicit claim that letting go of the binary distinction of art as separate from everyday experience, will allow for a more invigorating approach to aesthetics that benefits our understanding of art, aesthetics, and experience. Detailing these benefits takes us through a few…

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Crossing the Existential Rubicon

Willing ourselves free is not easy. Freedom is not a given. Neither is self-actualization. Both take hard work to maintain, and there’s a huge amount of responsibility in freedom that slaves will never know. Similarly, self-actualization is not a given. There are complications galore. It takes practice, dedication, and ruthless resolve to maintain. But it is our responsibility, and ours alone, to sustain it.

via Fractal Enlightenment | Crossing the Existential Rubicon.

The symbol of life should be a loop, not a helix

Unlike the helix, loops also operate at scales far above the molecular, covering a range of sizes from bacterial colonies to the vast ecosystems of the rainforest – perhaps to the ecosystem of the entire Earth. Beyond Earth, life without DNA is just about thinkable one can imagine alternative strategies for storing information. Life without feedback loops, though? I have never met any biologist who can imagine that.The helix is too well-established an icon to be deposed any time soon. And yet, a simple loop would be a much more universal symbol of how life works at all of its scales and levels. Perhaps the Ouroboros, beloved of gnostics and alchemists, has been an ideal symbol waiting in the wings for centuries: there can surely be no more evocative symbol of feedback than a snake growing by devouring its own tail.

via The symbol of life should be a loop, not a helix – Jamie Davies – Aeon.

The kind of connectivity we *really* need


This article on The Mind Unleashed contains a lot of truth, truly paradigm exploding stuff. My latest thinking is that we are in chaotic,  confusing times. Obvious, sure. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the soul sickening news of war, plagues (Ebola), environmental destruction, ad nauseum (new band name!). That’s what the “news” focuses on since promoting the horrors pushes people’s buttons, bringing in viewers and, guess what, REVENUE! But there are just about as many positive things happening, probably more in fact. All it takes is for us as individuals to do a variation on what the venerable Dr. Leary suggested. Tune in (to the more positive channels) turn on (not necessarily to a substance, though some of those discussed in this article can be beneficial, *wink wink nudge nudge*); and DROP OUT. Dropping out doesn’t necessarily mean going off grid or becoming a traveler, though…

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Book of the Day: Capitalism vs. the Climate

“What is really preventing us from putting out the fire that is threatening to burn down our collective house?” Klein asks early on, before observing:

I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe—and would benefit the vast majority—are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.

via Book of the Day: Capitalism vs. the Climate | P2P Foundation.