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Aesthetics and curriculum

developing negative capability

Kaustuv Roy

pp. 103-123

The aesthetic sensibility uncovers an irreducible quality that cannot be grasped through intention, reason, or propositional knowledge. And yet this quality, without which existence remains vitally incomplete, unfree, is the essential other side of the modernist drive toward certainty. This quality may be apprehended through the development of something Keats called "negative capability," or the capacity to remain in uncertainty. Given the modernist obsession with positivistic knowledge, the present chapter illustrates the relevance of negative capability by recourse to three practices, namely, truth-capability, simplicity-capability, and sense-capability. Sensory and corporeal mobilization is essential to balance the over-reliance on the intellect. The heart must balance the mind otherwise there is great distortion of the truth of living. And this truth of living is no other than the simplicities of nature. Radical aesthetics turns out to be an ontological alignment with the macrocosm and the rigors of nature, demanding from us therefore a directness of living.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-61106-8_5

Full citation:

Roy, K. (2018). Aesthetics and curriculum: developing negative capability, in Rethinking curriculum in times of shifting educational context, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 103-123.

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