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ERIC Number: EJ784579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Good Work and Aesthetic Education: William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and beyond
Petts, Jeffrey
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v42 n1 p30-45 Spr 2008
A notion of "good work," derived from William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement but also part of a wider tradition in philosophy (associated with pragmatism and Everyday Aesthetics) understanding the global significance of, and opportunities for, aesthetic experience, grounds both art making and appreciation in the organization of labor generally. Only good work, which can be characterized as "authentic" or as unalienated conditions of production and reception, allows the arts to thrive. While Arts and Crafts sometimes promotes a limited aesthetic (both theoretically and stylistically) around handicraft, a good-work aesthetic theory encompasses a broader range of working methods and materials without compromising the core Arts and Crafts "authenticity" principles of control over production and creative autonomy. In this article, the author focuses on the Morrisian theory of art and the aesthetic and the emergent good-work thesis. He argues that an Arts and Crafts or Morrisian aesthetic theory is fundamentally one of good work rather than handicraft per se since it delivers insights into the nature of works as collaborative projects and the developmental courses, participatory and esoteric, open to the arts generally; and it is a robust counter to anti-aestheticism and intellectualism in the theory and practice of the arts. In arguing for the theoretic and historic significance of a Morrisian aesthetic, the author takes encouragement and a lead from Paul Guyer's recent acknowledgement of the neglect of Morris in accounts of the history of philosophical aesthetics. (Contains 64 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A