Date of Award

12-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Alexander, Thomas

Abstract

In Traditional Navajo Sandpainting and John Dewey's Concept of An Experience I argue that the traditional Navajo sandpainting ceremony and John Dewey's concept of an experience mutually inform each other. By looking at traditional Navajo sandpaintings one can understand the type of experience Dewey is talking about when he talks about an experience. By looking at Dewey's concept of an experience one can understand the kind of experience the Navajo have when they participate in the sandpainting ceremonies. These experiences are deeply embedded in the foundation and meaning of life. Dewey argues that art and life are not separate. The traditional Navajo sandpaintings illustrate this. Life and the aesthetic are interwoven and connected. Beauty is part of our everyday lives and fills it with meaning.

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