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Béla Bacsó


Although experience already played a central role in John Dewey’s seminal work, Art as Experience, after Richard Shusterman’s new explanation of pragmatist aesthetics we have to reevaluate the former aesthetic tradition from this neopragmatist point of view. Earlier theories of aesthetics, as I understood them on the basis of the history of aesthetics, tended to forget the practical, emotional (lebensweltlich) dimension of aesthetic experience. My chapter shows connections between different types of aesthetic theories on the topic of experience in order to make stronger the idea of the applicability of experience in aesthetic theorizing. It also shows that we have a renewed common basis for this task, the idea of “having an experience” (which is an essential element of present-day aesthetics), and it is important to get a clear view of the pragmatist approach to experience in relation to other types of aesthetic theories dealing with experience.