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The Challenge of Art to Psychology

reviewed by Judith M. Burton - 1993

coverTitle: The Challenge of Art to Psychology
Author(s): Seymour B. Sarason
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0300047541, Pages: , Year:
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"Art," argued the philosopher-historian Sir Herbert Read, "is one of the most elusive concepts in the history of human thought."(n1) Entering the definitional fray, he eloquently moved the concept of art from its metaphysical casing and joined John Dewey in promoting the idea of art as a central mechanism of thought and action. By placing art in the context of theories of mind--in the domain of the organization and symbolization of experience--both men highlighted its essential connection to historical, cultural, and educational contexts; both argued for the relevance of an education in all the arts across the life span.(n2) More importantly, perhaps, they also sounded a warning knell, for they believed absolutely that if the arts as mechanisms of thought were not nurtured appropriately in education, then civilization would lose its balance and "topple over into social, moral and spiritual chaos."(n3) This warning, offered by Sir Herbert Read in the closing years of a bruising world war, echoed almost exactly John Dewey's sentiments before it began. To... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 94 Number 4, 1993, p. 838-845
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 212, Date Accessed: 12/4/2020 1:03:54 PM

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About the Author
  • Judith Burton
    Teachers College, Columbia University

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