ERIC Number: EJ774694
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Aesthetics of Ethical Virtues and the Ethical Virtues of Aesthetics
Garrison, James W.
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v35 n2 p229-241 Jun 2004
My paper concentrates on that small part of Dewey's ethical theory that deals with the personal virtues of character. Even more narrowly, I focus on a single section of Dewey's "Ethics" titled "The Conception of Virtue in Reflective Morality." I do so because my primary concern here is not so much with the virtues Dewey discusses, important as they are, but with how he believes they should interact. If I am correct, Dewey thinks that when the virtues of character are interacting as they should, the result is an open dynamic harmony that fits his classical definition of beauty. Dewey's understanding of virtues and their dynamic interaction breaks down the barrier between art, and ethics. Given that it is reflective morality that we are considering, that means Dewey is breaking down the barrier between cognition, art, and aesthetics as well. I conclude with some reflections as to why for Dewey what we often think of as personal virtues may only be comprehended in terms of a community wherein the same aesthetic principle of open dynamic harmony. I briefly discuss why alterity is as important as ipsiety for the pluralistic democrat.
Descriptors: Personality, Ethics, Aesthetics, Moral Values, Personality Traits, Learning, Art, Community, Interpersonal Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A