Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Aesthetic Education

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_292-1


Aesthetics; Beauty; Transcendentalism; Complex pragmatism

Aesthetic education seems to be most easily defined by what it is not. It is not the teaching of logical form or matters of fact, and it is not satisfied to remain at the level of surface text. Generally, aesthetics seems to be the defining characteristic of the arts, with which it is usually identified.

Monroe Beardsley saw the central task of aesthetic education as the improvement of taste, claiming that this required the development of two dispositions: (1) the capacity to obtain aesthetic gratification from increasingly subtle and complex objects that are characterized by various forms of unity and (2) an increasing dependence on beautiful objects as sources of aesthetic satisfaction. Beautiful objects for him were inherently beautiful. They were perfect. They adhered to the rules of good composition. They allowed people to feel pleasure when they contemplated the objects disinterestedly. They caused pleasure due to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arnheim, R. (1969). Visual thinking. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beardsley, M. (1982). The aesthetic point of view. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, C. (2015) [1914]. Art. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.Google Scholar
  4. Cavell, S. (1988). In quest of the ordinary: Lines of scepticism and romanticism. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Danto, A. (1981). The transfiguration of the commonplace: A philosophy of art. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Davidson, D. (2001). Subjective, intersubjective, objective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Devereaux, M. (1998). The philosophical status of Aesthetics. http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=6
  8. Dickie, G. (1983). Aesthetics: A critical anthology. New York: St Martin’ s Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gadamer, H.-G. (1986). The relevance of the beautiful and other essays (trans: Walker, N., ed: Bernasconi R.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gombrich, E. (1963). Meditations on a hobbyhorse and other essays on the theory of art. London: Phaidon.Google Scholar
  12. Goodman, N. (1976). Languages of art: An approach to a theory of symbols. Cambridge: Hackett.Google Scholar
  13. Heller, S. (1998). Wearying of cultural studies, some scholars rediscover beauty. Colloquy in Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/Wearying-of-Cultural-Studies/35418/
  14. Kelly, M. (Ed.). (1998). Encyclopedia of aesthetics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Osborne, H. (1970). The art of appreciation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Stewart, M. G. (2005). Rethinking curriculum in art. Maine: Davis Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Weitz, M. (1956). The role of theory in aesthetics. Journal of Aesthetics and Arts Criticism, 15(1), 27–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TingrithMargaret RiverAustralia