Richard Shusterman - Social Practice - More half formed thoughts from LeisureArts

Richard Shusterman's Practicing Philosophy: Pragmatism and the Philosophical Life requires extensive commentary. We hope to get around to said commentary soon. For now we just want to note that Shusterman is not widely cited in discussions of "social practice," yet should be widely read and cited. In addition to the aforementioned book, his Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art provides a strong argument against the privileging of "professional" philosophy (the discursive) over the philosophical life (artful living). Clearly, professional art institutions as currently constituted are poorly equipped to register life practices in any but the most rudimentary form. A caveat from Shusterman's acknowledgments is important here:
This book argues for extending the conception and practice of philosophy beyond the borders of its professionalized academic establishment. To demand more of philosophy is not to deny the worth of its current academic practice and institutions. But, to prevent such confusion, I here explicitly acknowledge the value of those institutions and especially my debt to them in the writing of this book.

Echoing this, as we too have argued for non-professional, amateur, and even dilettante practices and been misunderstood as dismissing the institutional art world altogether, we also "explicitly acknowledge" their value even if the courtesy is not frequently reciprocal...