Essays in Aesthetic Education

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Conceived in the tradition of expansive discourse on the arts, this collection speaks to the situation of the arts in Western, and specifically, American, culture. The book's main purpose is to explain and, in part, remedy the anomalous position of the arts in our culture and consequently, in our educational system. Examines the relationship between art and ideology, epistemology, and education; wrestles with the problem of morality and art, and discusses new ways to approach the arts in education. Incorporates close readings of Plato, Coleridge, Dewey, and Read on the arts.


"Swanger's book has a refreshing offbeat air to it. The author is an accomplished poet and philosopher and has an insightful grasp of the kind of social realities that work for and against aesthetic education. He lays out his own views clearly, without cant, and in one essay offers an excellent (and much needed) critique of the work of Herbert Read and John Dewey, showing they misinterpret Plato and overdemocratize or dissipate the force of the aesthetic. . . . Swanger's treatment of these somewhat historic ideas results in accessible and pedagogically useful conceptions of art and creative imagination for the classroom teacher. . . . Essays in Aesthetic Education is interesting and worth reading, and university classes in arts education and aesthetics would certainly benefit from its many insights." -- Journal of Aesthetic Education

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