Pedagogy and Art

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Dachshund
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 22nd, 2018, 5:18 am

BG,


I was a teacher (secondary) for many years. When kids go to art class they basically theory lessons and "practical", lessons just like in science where they have didactic lessons in theory (evolution, nuclear physics, chemical bonding, geology, etc.) and then do their own chemical/biological, etc; experiments. In art "practicals" they do basic stuff like painting ( in oils, watercolours, acrylics using different types of brushes), drawing or sketching in ink/pencil/charcoal/crapas/crayons/felt pens , learning different techniques like pointillism, or trying to draw or paint in different style genres like Cubism, trying to imitate the work produced by artists who were part of movements like Dada, experimenting with perspective/form/proportion ( classical/neo-classical/Roman), trying to mimic the style/visual effects of famous artists like: Pollock; Cezanne; Constable; Picasso; Andy Warhol; Monet; Da Vinci or surrealists like Salvador Dali , making clay pottery/clay sculptures/clay utensils, making papier mache objects, welding plastic to make things like plastic statues, sculpting from blocks of softish masonry, carving in different media, silk-printing, wood -printing, glazing, designing/making jewelry, going on outings to art museums/institutes (like the Tate Modern or the "V and A" museum), visiting art galleries/exhibitions, walking about local villages, towns and cities looking at and sketching copies of different architectural styles : Gothic, Georgian, Tudor, Victorian, Modernist, Post-Modern, Art Deco, Bauhaus... all sorts of stuff like this and more.

Regards

Dachshund

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Fooloso4 » September 22nd, 2018, 9:04 am

Dachshund,

I am not going to play a further role in aiding and abetting your derailment of the topic. If you wish to discuss it start a new topic.

The difference can be seen in your quote from Shelley:
THE GREAT SECRET OF MORALS IS LOVE; OR A GOING OUT OF OUR NATURE
Arete means the excellence of a thing. This is the meaning that Plato and Socrates inherit and employ. Love is not the great secret to human excellence according to Plato and Socrates. It is not a going out of our nature but the attainment of it in its fullness. Arete is not Christian virtue because it does not require grace.

Plato's analogy of the sun and the good should be sufficient to see that it is not limited to morality, that is, custom, manners, and right conduct.

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 22nd, 2018, 9:09 am

I have been to school myself and remember art lessons. My question was what you believe an art lesson should aim to do - in terms of “appreciation”, “theory” and/or “technique” ?

I’ve set out my general view on this so either expand on it further, dismantle it or offer up something entirely different - such as opening up the question of what “art” class should aim to do and how viable such aims are, how/if appreciation can be improved and/or whether critique is an important aspect of being an “artist.”

Sausage Dog -

Do you believe aesthetics and morality are part of what art deals with? Fool is correct in summing that up as not being part of the intent of this thread although it is certainly going to be where I exentually lead onto - the interaction between “aesthetics” and “morality” is certainly a hot topic for me of late.
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Hereandnow » September 23rd, 2018, 10:58 am

Dachshund
I disagree, HAN. For me philosophy is not so much concerned with "what it means to be a person" but more importantly, what it means to "live the good life". This is one of the oldest philosophical questions, and it has been posed in different ways - "How should one live" ? "What does it mean to live well" ? - but these are really just the same question. After all everybody wants to live well and no one wants to live "the bad life".
The good life? But what do you mean by this term 'good'? And 'living', how is this to be construed, is it objective living, among others and following the ethical principles set before us, and being a member in good standing of the community, or is it subjective living, seeing that all that rises to meet others in principled behavior issues from the self andn the authenticity of the social self can only be verified within. What "good" is loving my neigbor, for example, if I do not understand how it is that love translates into an ethical term at all? This is the very essence of dogmatism: Going along and not understanding enough to bring the necessary critical review to bear on the principles you follow, that are implicit in all you do and say.

The asking about what it means to be a person is actually where the quest for verification; it is the attempt to ground what we believe about how we should live in a justified set of assumptions. Without this, of course, we would never evolve in our thinking at all. Inquiry is, if you lean toward metaphor, the true Dionysian foil, the Nataraj--a dancing Siva that tears at the fabric of belief systems which are the illusions of this world. If one allows this process to achieve its natural end, the mission of philosophy, one rises from the ashes of abstraction,the social self, the pragmatic self, into the actual self: transcendental, unutterable in the language of humans.

Note how these poetic extravagances cloud the issue. To bring up the Nataraj at all is to bring in precisely what needs to be suspended, excessive historical and religious ideas. Best to steer clear and make the point.
So what does the phrase "the good life" mean ? One basic way that we use the word "good" is to express moral approval. So when we say that someone is living well or they have lived a good life, we mean they posses and practice many of the most important virtues, and for me the most important virtue is love as it connotes "charity"; that is, the kind of love the ancient Romans referred to using the latin word "caritas" and the ancient Greeks by using the term, "agape". This was also the view of the great apostle and builder of the early Christian Church, St Paul. "Caritas" and "agape" refer to the charitable, selfless love displayed by those men and women who do not spend the majority of their time preoccupied with satisfying their own selfish, egocentric desires and pleasures, but place great importance on the process of "going out of themselves"- on freely giving of the personal resources they possess as human individuals ( be they material, spiritual, intellectual, emotional) by engaging in concrete actions that are intended to benefit others, especially those "others" who are suffering physically or spiritually and in need of help to restore their material welfare and/or emotional sense of well - being (happiness).
'Good' is a difficult term, complicated, and I wonder if you have the patience for it. First, I do not recognize the distinctions you make above. Love is love, and one's love for one's sister or mother is no different from that of one's friends, neighbors; I mean, what ARE all of these if not simply the delight one feels in the thought or company of the Other? Love is happiness. After all, what is happiness but the exactly the same feeling one has in the presence of the beloved? The distinctions you make are contrivances inherited from those intent on making sense out of the world by dividing it conceptually, but these concepts are more of an expression of the particular circumstances in need of clarification than love itself. As to your "charity" as love, the giving, sympathy, the empathy: These are words reflecting love's attachments in the world, love's failures, not unlike the unproblematic personal love's in the case of lost or unrequited love. THIS is an interesting matter, not so much for here, though.

Second, the 'good' has to be understood in two ways, the contingent and the absolute. Contingent goods are obvious things, like this being a good knife because it is sharp (think arete, excellence), but notice, it is not a good knife if it is to be used in Macbeth because we don't want anyone to get hurt. Most goods are like this: they change and are not fixed in their being good of bad. It all "depends". But now, as Wittgenstein tells us, there is another kind of good, the ethical good. run a knife through my kidney and this is bad, nit in the contingent sense, but in the absolute sense: it cannot be otherwise, regardless of the context, even if the utility FAVORS the action (put that knife in his kidney or I'll do the same to a thousand innocent kids!), it remains bad, ethically bad. Wittgenstein does not endorse ethical goodness and badness and in fact holds these to be nonsense. But forget this: When we talk about the good life, we need to understand the distinction: the contingent goods we pursue in our practical lives, buying good sofas, figuring out a good route to Paris, and so on, is this sufficient to live the good life, or is all of this something else? If there is such a thing as an ethical good, this means it is an absolute, and if there is an absolute in our midst, in our world then it has all of the heft of Moses' tablets, but without the mythology. It tells us that in this world of fictions, things we put in place about our identity, our values, there is a presence of transcendence.
The importance of this for the purpose here is to show how philosophical analysis can get to the foundations of what we should do, what we are, what is authentic action. It makes, to be crystal clear, the ethics of the world something grounded in what we cannot see and helps confirm to inquiry that this world is not stand alone.

I think the best way that one can realise "the good life" is through adopting a moral conception of the term "good".
see the above.
Well, I will let Percey Shelley himself speak on my behalf in this matter, by quoting the following passages from his magnificent essay, "ADEfense of Poetry" ( I would, BTW, HAN urge you to read the whole piece if you have time). In "The Defense", Shelley writes that....
I am reading Shelley now and will respond.

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 24th, 2018, 4:43 am

If there is such a thing as an ethical good, this means it is an absolute, and if there is an absolute in our midst, in our world then it has all of the heft of Moses' tablets, but without the mythology. It tells us that in this world of fictions, things we put in place about our identity, our values, there is a presence of transcendence.

The importance of this for the purpose here is to show how philosophical analysis can get to the foundations of what we should do, what we are, what is authentic action. It makes, to be crystal clear, the ethics of the world something grounded in what we cannot see and helps confirm to inquiry that this world is not stand alone.

[/quote]

HAN,

I would be very interested to hear your views regarding the classical Christian account of "conscience" as a moral concept. In order to make it clear for you what this account of conscience involves, here is some basic historical background...


To begin with, there is something very like a proto-concept of conscience in the Old Testament. In "The Book of Samuel", we read that, when David was aware he had committed some moral wrong, "his heart smote him", where the word translated into English as "heart" is the Hebrew word , lev , which can also mean, more generally the viscera. Also, in Psalm 16.7, we read that "the kidneys chastise a man" when he does wrong, and here again, the Hebrew word, kelayoth, which literally means "kidneys", can also refer to other internal organs. More Generally speaking, in the Old Testament there is a suggestion that when a person does wrong, the wrongdoer, at least if morally engaged, will suffer what you could call a backlash from his/her own viscera, or, to put it more bluntly a sort of "pang" or "stab" of palpable self-disgust that is felt in his own "guts" ( innards).


The first mention that we have of conscience as a moral concept in Western philosophy came from Socrates when he was on trial charged with corrupting the youth of Athens. Plato reports that Socrates defended his actions by saying...


"In the past the prophetic voice ( the Greek term is "daimon") to which I have been accustomed has always been my constant companion, opposing me in even quite trivial things as I was going to take the wrong course."



Socrates then goes on to point out that, when he engaged with the youth of Athens in dialectic, his "daimon" was silent, therefore he cannot have been doing any wrong. Put in modern terms, Socrates was basically saying, " I cannot have been doing any wrong, knowingly and willingly, because my conscience was clear", which is, in essence, the structure of any argument from the authority of conscience.


St Augustine, the Christian Bishop of Hippo ( 354 - 430 AD) ( a confirmed Platonist), had a view of conscience that could be described as Socratic", the only major difference being that Augustine substituted the divine illumination of God in place of Socrates' prophetic voice or "daimon". Augustine writes of the source of knowledge of the moral law or conscience as "my divine illumination" and also as an "interior law ( lex intima) written in the heart itself ( in ipso tuo corde conscripta)"


The classical Christian account of conscience as a moral concept was most developed in post-Reformation Protestant theology. Thus, John Calvin (1509 - 1564) for instance, wrote in his famous text. "The Establishment of the Christian Religion", that ...


"When they (Human beings) have a sense of the Divine justice, as an additional witness, which permits them not to conceal their sins, or to elude accusation at the tribunal of the supreme Judge, this sense is termed conscientia, "conscience". For it is a kind of medium between God and man; because it does not suffer a man to suppress what he knows within himself, but pursues him till it brings him to conviction."


This account of conscience by Calvin is a mixture of the Old Testament notion of conscience as a "backlash" with Augustine's idea of conscience as form of "divine illumination" within us. Arguably, Calvin's view of conscience is closer to the Old Testament version, I think, because he clearly see it as a post-factum visitation from "that additional witness" ( i.e. the Holy Spirit within us) that tells us we have sinned and hounds us until we promise to reform. For Calvin, conscience is a kind of internal "hound of Heaven", and it is an aggressive one at that, more like a savage Irish wolfhound than a gentle Bassett hound.

Then, in the 19th century, the English divine, John Henry Newman, gave an account of conscience that was effectively a fully-fledged return to St Augustine's pre-factum view of "divine illumination". Newman wrote of conscience as: "that inward light, given as it is by God... (which) was intended to set up within us a standard of right and truth". Moreover, this source of moral authority was superior to reason , and often opposed to it. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Newman once remarked that the common room of his own Oxford college, Oriel, "stank of logic".

In summary, a general outline of the classical Christian account of conscience as a moral concept would be something along the lines of...

Conscience is an inner voice of special ( because divine and therefore morally infallible) moral illumination or expertise and of incontrovertible moral authority which reveals itself inwardly and unavoidably in consciousness ( hence the term "conscience") and warns us to do good and avoid evil, and condemns us when we fail.

If you re-read the first 36 lines of Blake's poem, "Auguries of Innocence" that I recently posted to you on this thread, you will note that Blake absolutely condemns the needless infliction of cruelty/ suffering on harmless animal as absolutely immoral as unconditionally wrong. What I would ask you to do is concentrate on holding some of the images Blake presents in these verses as vividly as you possibly can in your mind's eye: the poor dog starved by his callous master, the pigeons and Robin Redbreasts stuffed into a small, constricting cage ( like battery hens), the little Wren who is intentionally hurt by some malicious human hand, the weary cart- horse being savagely whipped by his owner on the roadside, the shrill squeals of terror from a desperate hunted hare as it flees through the woods for its life pursued by a huntsman's hounds, the pain and distress of a Skylark wounded in the wing by lead pellets from a game hunters' shotgun; the exhausted, terrified fox as it is run down by the foxhunters' beagles for "sport"...


My question to you, HAN, is did you feel it ? Did you feel the voice of Calvin's/Augustine's/Newman's/Socrates'/David's CONSCIENCE in your "heart". Did you -instantly and automatically - "hear" the "inner voice" of an unquestionably righteous and supreme moral authority "saying" NO !! Did you feel it - the acute pang of moral prohibition, - the sharp kick of moral opprobrium and disgust in your GUTS, telling you, in no uncertain terms, that all of these behaviours are unconditionally, absolutely, morally BAD/wicked; that they are ABSOLUTELY, CATEGORICALLY WRONG; that you must NEVER engage in such behaviours!

Well , HAN, did you ?

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 24th, 2018, 5:15 am

You’re failing to address the original idea of the thread so I am going to lock ans abandon it.
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 24th, 2018, 5:55 am

BG,

Could you at least let HAN respond to my post above before you lock it ?

Thanks

Dachshund

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Hereandnow » September 24th, 2018, 8:08 am

BG is right,this has nothing to do with pedagogy. Go to Arts and Philosophy in the Arts and I will begin anew with "Poetry's Defense" where I will begin with this above.

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 26th, 2018, 2:28 am

Discussion continued here:

Poetry’s Defense viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15833
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