Living Slowly: John Dewey and Deliberate Aesthetic Experience

Molly Kathleen Kelleher, Fordham University


This Thesis explores how the practice of reorienting oneself towards the world can make aesthetic experience more accessible everyday life. I argue that reorienting oneself towards the aesthetic is challenging when one is influenced by outside pressures. I approach this practice of reorientation through the work of first John Dewey and two contemporary pragmatist, Scott Stroud, and Richard Shusterman. Dewey functions as the base of this Thesis because his philosophy not only emphasizes that aesthetic experience can be experienced by everyone, but that to have such an experience work must be put in. While this paper does have a pragmatism leaning, the work of philosopher Yuriko Saito is employed. Saito adds a philosophical take to the mundaneness of everyday aesthetics and what it means for something familiar to become aesthetic. The final section of the Thesis focuses on in life application of the process of reorientation. Here I will focus on Henry David Thoreau’s practice of living slowly and how following in his footsteps can allow for a higher frequency of aesthetic experience in everyday life.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kelleher, Molly Kathleen, "Living Slowly: John Dewey and Deliberate Aesthetic Experience" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30488859.