Dewey’s and Pirsig’s Aesthetics

  • David A. Granger


The kind of naturalistic metaphysics that we explored in the previous two chapters views the human organism through the lens of emergent evolution. That is, it perceives this organism as a creative transformation of more elemental natural processes, processes with which it remains, following Dewey’s formulation, both ontologically and functionally continuous. Matter, life, and mind are thus inherently interrelated existences and so must be apprehended in their empirical relations with one another. Each connotes a consecutively more complex array of interactions with surrounding conditions, from simple blunt existence to the most sophisticated processes of growth and renewal. At the most general level, this means recognizing the myriad ways in which human beings and their body-minds are dependent for their flourishing upon their natural and sociocultural environments. It also means recognizing that they are innately susceptible to the periodic dissociations or disharmony that occur between any organism and its sustaining environment, such as those inducing hunger pangs, intellectual puzzlement, or other physical and mental discomforts, even death. The relationship between the human organism and its environment is an ecological one in the fullest sense of the word.


Aesthetic Experience Aesthetic Quality Psychic Distance Repair Shop Aesthetic Sensibility 
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© David A. Granger 2006

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  • David A. Granger

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