ERIC Number: EJ825831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Orientational Meliorism, Pragmatist Aesthetics, and the "Bhagavad Gita"
Stroud, Scott R.
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v43 n1 p1-17 Spr 2009
This article develops an understanding of Dewey's aesthetics by connecting it to a project that can be extracted from his overall pragmatist approach--orientational meliorism. As I will argue, Dewey emphasizes the effect that one's mental habits or orientations toward experience and activity has on the quality of one's experience. Orientational meliorism takes its lead from Dewey's aesthetics and his religious writings that hint at the power of improving or meliorating the quality of experience by altering one's orientations toward activity in general. Here I want to expand on this theme by looking at how orientational meliorism plays into Dewey's quest to render more of life aesthetic and consummatory. First, I focus on the way that experience can be more aesthetic or consummatory as revealed in Dewey's writings on aesthetics. Second, I describe what would make everyday activity aesthetic on such a Deweyan scheme. I then supplement this Deweyan account of making more of life aesthetic with a method drawn from a tradition that is removed from Dewey, but that shares his commitment to meliorating personal experience--that of ancient Hinduism. Specifically, I will argue that "karma yoga," the path or discipline of action in the "Bhagavad Gita," can be seen as a method for creating more experiences that can be classed in Deweyan terms as "aesthetic." (Contains 46 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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