Cultivating Moral Sensibilities through Aesthetic Education

H10 2

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  • Title: Cultivating Moral Sensibilities through Aesthetic Education: The Power of Everyday Cosmopolitanism
  • Author(s): Suzanne S. Choo
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Cosmopolitanism, Aesthetic Education, Morality and Ethics
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2010
  • ISSN: 1447-9508 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9559 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9508/CGP/v08i02/42856
  • Citation: Choo, Suzanne S.. 2010. "Cultivating Moral Sensibilities through Aesthetic Education: The Power of Everyday Cosmopolitanism." The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review 8 (2): 109-118. doi:10.18848/1447-9508/CGP/v08i02/42856.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

In considering the brutal reality of the Holocaust, this paper begins by examining the startling paradox in Immanuel Kant’s claim that exposure to the beautiful can cultivate moral sensibilities. The paper proceeds to argue that Kant’s aesthetic grounding in subjective universality not only rationalizes how the beautiful can foster an attunement towards moral purposes, it also highlights how the transition from sensible to supersensible can be obstructed when it is not framed by disinterestedness. This then provides powerful implications for the mediation of aesthetic education as a catalyst in facilitating the symbolic transition from engaging in the beautiful to engaging in moral contemplation. At the same time, such a transition presents a dilemma for aesthetic education since it seems inconceivable to argue that the cultivation of aesthetic judgment in the artificial setting of a classroom should be driven purely by disinterestedness.