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Aesthetic Modes of Knowing


by Elliot W. Eisner 1985

An examination of the relationship between the form and content of the opening paragraph in Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August will help us understand what the phrase "aesthetic modes of knowing" alludes to. Before examining this relationship I wish to mention now a theme that I will return to later. The phrase, "aesthetic modes of knowing," presents something of a contradiction in our culture. We do not typically associate the aesthetic with knowing. The arts, with which the aesthetic is most closely associated, is a matter of the heart. Science is thought to provide the most direct route to knowledge. Hence, "aesthetic modes of knowing" is a phrase that contradicts the conception of knowledge that is most widely accepted. 'I hope to show in this chapter that the widely accepted view is too narrow and that the roads to knowing are many.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 84, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 86 Number 6, 1985, p. 23-36
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19129, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 5:13:13 PM

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About the Author
  • Elliot Eisner
    Stanford University
    ELLIOT EISNER is a professor of Art and Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
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