Philosophy of Music Education as Art of Life: A Deweyan View

Lauri Väkevä

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394733
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Philosophy of Music Education as Art of Life: A Deweyan View


While John Dewey did not write much about music education, his philosophy offers tools for reframing the philosophy of music education to account for the significance of music in human life. Dewey's reconstructive view of philosophy was based on his critique of the traditional image of the discipline interested in the “quest for certainty” rather than in “problems of men.” This article discusses the conditions of understanding philosophy as a way of life from a historical perspective, and elucidates the position of music education in premodern philosophy. It also notes the implications of the aesthetic theory of modernity for philosophy of music education. Dewey's aesthetics can be seen as a reconstruction of this theory, based on his more extensive ideas of experience and art. The discussion concludes with a suggestion of how the philosophy of music education can make use of Deweyan ideas.

Keywords: Dewey's philosophy; John Dewey; music education; aesthetic theory; Dewey's aesthetics

Article.  11543 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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