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Deweyan Aesthetic Experience and Shusterman’s Somatic Experience

image of Contemporary Pragmatism

Shusterman cites Dewey as a preeminent influence, but also endeavors to differentiate himself from his philosophical predecessor. Thus while both emphasize embodiment, Dewey stresses that the body is coupled to the world, and Shusterman sees it as more internally complete, almost setting this up as an ideal to be pursued. Consequently Dewey regards bodily action and resultant experience as co-determined by the world, whereas Shusterman believes the body and experience is more under the control of the individual. This article contrasts Dewey and Shusterman’s approaches. It specifically ponders the Deweyan concepts of pervasive and unifying quality, and concludes that these ideas cast doubt on some of Shusterman’s views, specifically his emphasis on internal control.

Affiliations: 1: Jagiellonian University, Komuny Paryskiej 27/1, 30–389 Krakow, Polska


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