John Dewey’s Theory of Aesthetic Experience: Bridging the Gap Between Arts and Sciences

Raine Ruoppa 1
  • 1 University of Helsinki, , Finland

Abstract

John Dewey’s philosophical pragmatism offers a reformatory approach to the arduous relationship between natural sciences and humanities. The crucial issue, which Dewey sets himself to resolve, is the pre-Darwinian influence of classical philosophy upon various scholarly practices. Ancient background assumptions still today permeate a considerable proportion of academic research and argumentation on both sides of the debate. Even evolutionary accounts appear to be affected. In order to avoid the often implicit, but nonetheless problematic, consequences that ensue from such archaic premises, I examine Dewey’s reappraisal of the concepts of art, science and knowledge. An analysis of these key concepts renders it possible to understand the proper function of aesthetic experience. In this paper, natural constitution of an aesthetic experience, which carries one of the intrinsic relations between art and science, comprises the core of the proposed solution. Furthermore, establishment of an integral aesthetic connection forms a fruitful basis for further bridging of the gap between hard sciences and humanities.

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