Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Nineteenth-century philosopher Leo Tolstoy believed that art was an infectious way of communicating an idea or feeling from the artist to the viewer. Maxine Greene, a modern educational theorist, takes this idea a step further and suggests that the communicative power of art can have moral overtones, and she sees stories and the arts as necessary components of education that stir the imagination and impact moral development. Philosophers Plato and Jean-jacques Rousseau both found narrative powerful in forming identity and moral sense. Art, narrative, and philosophy are clearly entwined and related to the way we see and act in the world. My project seeks to make art and literature a catalyst in our understanding of our lives and of the human experience. I wrote and illustrated a children's book about our experience of beauty in the world, as framed by Diotima in Plato's Symposium and supported by other thinkers including Martha Nussbaum, Leo Tolstoy, and John Berger. This children's book applies ideas presented in the thesis paper, which explores the role of stories"particularly those that lead to philosophical discussions about values"in childhood development, particularly moral development. The paper examines a variety of perspectives on the subject, ranging from ancient and modern philosophy to 20th- and 21st- century educational theories to contemporary developmental psychology.
Date of Award
© Hannah Breece
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Breece, Hannah, "Play Dough and Plato: Finding Harmony in the Childhood Experience" (2014). Regis University Student Publications (comprehensive collection). 590.