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ERIC Number: EJ790078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
After Late- and Postmodernism: A Wittgensteinian Reconstructive and Transformative Aesthetics, Art Practice, and Art Education
Cunliffe, Leslie
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v35 n3 p1-13 Fall 2001
Ludwig Wittgenstein's thought embraces two complementary projects: what he called his therapeutic work which was aimed at treating philosophical questions as though they were an illness, and his reconstructive work which emerges from this therapeutic endeavor. Wittgenstein describes his therapeutic work as an exercise that involves destroying "everything interesting, that is, all that is great and important....As it were all the buildings, leaving behind only bits of stone and rubble." Yet the therapeutic or deconstructive aspect of his philosophy was only a stepping stone toward realizing the more important reconstructive aim of giving "philosophy peace," so that human beings could come into a better understanding of themselves and their wider surroundings. Although these two complementary features of Wittgenstein's thought should never be separated, the reconstructive part of his work is often neglected or rarely seen in correct relationship to his therapeutic emphasis. For the point of engaging in therapy is to be made whole and fit for life. Entering the twenty-first century it is Wittgenstein's neglected reconstructive lesson that is the most compelling feature of his work, for it offers the possibility of being cured from what he called "the sickness of a time." This essay explores the possibilities of Wittgenstein's reconstructive lesson in relation to visual aesthetics, art practice, and art education for a different time. (Contains 50 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A