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The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: The Aesthetics of Everyday Life Paperback – February 7, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1551114781 ISBN-10: 155111478X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155111478X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551114781
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Thomas Leddy offers a comprehensive and compelling treatment of everyday aesthetics, discussing a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources while putting forward an interesting new theory of what it is to have an aesthetic experience. This engaging book is suitable for students, scholars, and anyone wishing to enrich their experience of everyday life.” (Sherri Irvin, University of Oklahoma)

“The Extraordinary in the Ordinary is a significant contribution to the newly important field of everyday aesthetics. The book provides an excellent critical overview of work in this field to date, but more importantly breaks new ground by extending our understanding of aesthetic experience and of the properties we encounter in that experience.” (Robert Stecker, Central Michigan University)

From the Back Cover

This book explores the aesthetics of the objects and environments we encounter in daily life. Thomas Leddy stresses the close relationship between everyday aesthetics and the aesthetics of art, but places special emphasis on neglected aesthetic terms such as ‘neat,’ ‘messy,’ ‘pretty,’ ‘lovely,’ ‘cute,’ and ‘pleasant.’ The author advances a general theory of aesthetic experience that can account for our appreciation of art, nature, and the everyday.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Russell L. Quacchia on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, in a nutshell, is nothing short of a very readable exploration and persuasive argument on behalf of recognizing the aesthetic dimension ever present in our everyday lives and the neglected values to be obtained therefrom. It encourages that by enlarging our traditionally habitual scope of active aesthetic interests from those of, say National Parks and the Fine Arts, to further bring this kind of interest to bear on the apprehension and appreciation of ordinary things and activities which we routinely experience in our day to day lives, we thereby transform the ordinary into the extraordinary by opening ourselves up to the "auras" they possess. The key phenomenal idea developed by the author is the concept of aesthetic experience as the experiencing of an object's aura; that which sparks the extraordinary appreciation of the ordinary.

Russell Quacchia
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Russell on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aesthetics deals with the beautiful and the sublime so we are trained to think of aesthetic experience happening when we visit a museum to see an exhibit of Claude Monet or go to a concert to hear a Mozart string quartet. Or, if we expand our vision a bit, we imagine aesthetic experience happening if we climb a mountain and breathlessly scan the entire mountain range. But how about the other 99.9% of our modern lives, when we are drinking our morning coffee or discussing the local weather or putting out the garbage, that is, our world other than the world of art and nature? To help us appreciate and more completely understand the depth of this question, Thomas Leddy has written his book addressing the aesthetics of everyday life.

By my eye, one key statement made by the author is: "We call something an aesthetic phenomenon when it is perceived aesthetically, and all non-art phenomena can be perceived aesthetically under some circumstances; one needs simply look at it in the right way or provide it with a suitable framing or background story." So, going back to our drinking our morning cup of coffee, we can have an aesthetic experience on many levels: the feel of the mug in our hand, appreciating the smell of coffee freshly made, the kinesthetic sense of our body as we move the mug to our lips, delighting in the strong taste of the Colombian mix. How many aesthetic experiences do we have in the course of our usual day? The answer can be seen in terms of the degree of our awareness of the world in and around us. Thus, the title of Leddy's book `The Extraordinary in the Ordinary'.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent work of scholarly research into the everyday concept of aesthetics. In this engaging work of philosophy--which unfortunately is not always the case with scholarly works of philosophy--Professor Leddy presents the major currents and topics of everyday aesthetics focusing on a variety of themes. The book will remind you to reflect about our surroundings and reflect about their beauty, everyday meaning in our day, and the purpose of observing things and their beauty or essence. I enjoyed this work precisely because of the broad and diverse content that Leddy presents but also because the book invited me to reflect about my own nature and concept of what I consider beautiful or aesthetic.
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