International Journal of Art & Design Education

Aesthetics as the Foundation of Human Experience

Volume 13.1   1994



The central argument of this paper is that aesthetics is not only central to unravelling art's evident meaningfulness but also paradigmatic in the understanding of human experience. Rather than being marginal within art education, aesthetics via its elucidation of how art works 'work' should assume a key position in the understanding of art enabling the latter to unlock not only the workings of human experience, but also that developmental, unfolding process of self formation and discovery which once went by the name of education. The argument is shamelessly prescriptive in making the key assumption that 'art speaks', and in that address translates us into realms not of our making. To accord aesthetics such power is to oppose the currents of contemporary culture which seemingly seeks assurance in the domesticating certainties of technological reasoning.