Aesthetics of the Familiar: Everyday Life and World-Making

ISBN : 9780198852919

Yuriko Saito
272 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Dec 2019
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Winner of the 2018 Outstanding Monograph Prize from the American Society for Aesthetics.

  • A fascinating investigation of the importance of aesthetics in our everyday lives
  • Major new work from the leading figure in the field
  • Emphasis on the moral, social, and political dimension of everyday aesthetics
  • Offers a bridge between Western and Asian ideas about aesthetics

Yuriko Saito explores the nature and significance of the aesthetic dimensions of people's everyday life. Everyday aesthetics has the recognized value of enriching one's life experiences and sharpening one's attentiveness and sensibility. Saito draws out its broader importance for how we make our worlds, environmentally, morally, as citizens and consumers. Saito urges that we have a social responsibility to encourage cultivation of aesthetic literacy and vigilance against aesthetic manipulation. Yuriko Saito argues that ultimately, everyday aesthetics can be an effective instrument for directing the humanity's collective and cumulative world-making project for the betterment of all its inhabitants.
Everyday aesthetics has been seen as a challenge to contemporary Anglo-American aesthetics discourse, which is dominated by the discussion of art and beauty. Saito responds to controversies about the nature, boundary, and status of everyday aesthetics and argues for its legitimacy. She highlights the multi-faceted aesthetic dimensions of everyday life that are not fully accounted for by the commonly-held account of defamiliarizing the familiar.



Part I. Concepts: Everyday Aesthetics as an Essentially Contested Field
1: The Aesthetics of the Ordinary and Familiar
2: Challenges and Responses to Everyday Aesthetics

Part II. Cases: From Sky to Earth
3: The Aesthetics of Emptiness: Sky Art
4: The Aesthetics of Wind Farms
5: The Aesthetics of Laundry

Part III. Consequences: Everyday Aesthetics and World-Making
6: Consequences of Everyday Aesthetics
7: The Power of Everyday Aesthetics in World-Making

About the author: 

Yuriko Saito, Professor Emeritus, Rhode Island School of Design
Yuriko Saito, born and raised in Japan, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States. She has written and lectured widely on everyday aesthetics, environmental aesthetics, and Japanese aesthetics. Her Everyday Aesthetics was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. In addition to serving as an editorial consultant for a number of journals on aesthetics and environmental ethics, she works as Associate Editor of the first free-access, peer-reviewed, online journal on aesthetics, Contemporary Aesthetics.

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