John Dewey's 1906 Definition of Art
by Philip W. Jackson — 2002
This paper contains an appreciative exegesis of a single sentence extracted from a speech that John Dewey delivered to an audience of teachers in 1906. The sentence was selected for analysis because of the extraordinarily concise manner in which it tacitly connects to a wide variety of Deweyan doctrines, particularly those having to do with Dewey’s vision of human flourishing. The overall goal of the analysis is simply to bring the sentence to the attention of a wider audience. By displaying the hidden richness of this small string of words, delivered almost nonchalantly, one suspects, and on such a relatively inauspicious occasion, my hope is to prevent a tiny gem from remaining lost and forgotten within the vastness of Dewey’s published works.
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