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ERIC Number: EJ1054558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1744-9642
Taking a Chance: Education for Aesthetic Judgment and the Criticism of Culture
Saito, Naoko
Ethics and Education, v10 n1 p96-104 2015
This article explores the possibilities of the antifoundationalist thought of Cavell with a particular focus on his idea of "chance in aesthetic experience," as a framework through which to destabilize the prevailing discourse of education centering on freedom and control. I try to present the idea of chance in a particular way, which does not identify it with chaos or limitlessness but takes it rather as a condition of meaning-making, and more generally of a perfecting of culture, of a conscientious sense of its further possibility and betterment. In Cavell's perfectionism, our aesthetic life models our political life, and such life requires our constant reengagement with our language. The cultural criticism this entails is to be understood not in merely negative terms but as itself a process of renewal. The interrelationship between the aesthetic, the political and language is at the heart of Cavellian education for self-knowledge, where this is understood as a matter of self-criticism. It connects, therefore, with Cavell's sustained commitment to challenging philosophy's self-knowledge. Along these lines, reference is made to John Cage's idea of chance in art. Cage is an American composer who was influenced by Thoreau and whose idea of chance has, perhaps because of this, some similarity to Cavell's. Discussing these antifoundationalist American writers, I argue that criticism of culture requires trust in one's taste, which is at the heart of aesthetic judgment. "Taking a chance" is a mode of thinking and use of language that might replace a prevalent discourse of critical thinking in education and realize a possibility of liberal education beyond the dichotomy of freedom and control.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A