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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 28, 2019

Peirce and Dewey think about art: Quality and the theory of signs

Robert E. Innis
From the journal Semiotica

Abstract

My goal in this essay is not to investigate the sources, systematic applications, extensions, or coherence of Peirce’s admittedly fragmentary remarks on aesthetics, tasks that have been undertaken by others. Rather, I want, with both historical and systematic intent, to draw attention to some important links between Dewey’s aesthetic use of Peirce’s theory of quality and the remarkable, albeit not thematic, reconstitution in Dewey’s explicitly experiential or perception based aesthetics of central Peircean distinctions and typologies that bear upon the putative aesthetic importance of the divide between Peirce’s early and late theory of signs. In order to give concreteness to the discussion, practicing a kind of method of exemplification, I examine some engagements with art works where the analytical concepts are brought into play. My approach has, as a result, two blades: an upper blade in the form of a theoretical prelude and a lower blade in the form of an analytical staging of some powerful aesthetic encounters in light of the themes outlined in the theoretical prelude.

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Published Online: 2019-03-28
Published in Print: 2019-05-07

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