Final Proposal: The Aesthetic Experience is Dead

With my final paper, I will attempt to make the argument that the inspiring of aesthetic experience is no longer the main focus of art today. Art has become an instrument of intellectualism in a way that drives its tendencies away from sensory experience which is not unlike what Higgins’ describes is happening with “beauty” in art.

My paper will use Dewey’s “The Live Creature and The Aesthetic Experience” to define the “aesthetic experience” in the sense I mean.

However, it must be mentioned that this attitude towards the aesthetic experience doesn’t seem to be coming from the artists’ end but from the audience and the critics. Therefore, interpretation plays a big role in our perception of art. Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation” is also quite illuminating in discussing how an interpretation can bring an artwork into an intellectual realm and blind us to its aesthetic possibilities.

I want to attempt to make a successful argument that in our hyper-aware and deconstructive society, art has to swim upstream in order to be considered for what it is rather than what it means.



One thought on “Final Proposal: The Aesthetic Experience is Dead

  1. Great topic! Feel free to use Jay’s article on Dewey instead or in addition. You are on point w/ everything here, just note that in addition to anti-intellectualism and pro-sensory aesth exper ( also related to the original meaning of the term ‘aesthetic’) she is for a sort of spiritual connection–maybe emotional would be a better way to put it–so that it’s very much like the Jay argument and even close to Bell & Wolterstorff (no need for you to bring them into it, I’m just using them as a reference point to help flesh out her argument in this rushed blog comment of mine).


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