“Art and Civilization” by John Dewey
In this this chapter author John Dewey attempts to delineate the role of art beyond the experience of the individual, its influence on culture and its contribution to “civilization”. He writes, “Art is often distrusted because of its roots in imaginative creativity. A civilization’s art and culture is construed broadly in terms of its morals.” Hence, what Dewey really means to say is that art cannot be used as a source in the study of civilizations because of its inclinency to portray the author’s personal his or her own opinions and their understanding of morals.
- My question to you is whether or not art can be considered a great resource in one’s intellectual arsenal to understand a civilization and its culture?
- Or is it a deterring source, on which we cannot rely because of its strictly individualistic understanding of the civilization?
Author Dewey referred to Shelley’s theory that moral science only “arranges elements that poetry has created.” He also furthers his point by saying that “’intellectual’ products formulate the tendencies of these arts and provide them with an intellectual base.”
- The question that follows this thought is to what extents do intellectual thoughts and theories influence art?
- Is art intellectual or, in theory, an expression of the emotions of the artist and subject?