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ABSTRACT. In the choreographic process of professionals and students, often a colleague or mentor is called in to offer critical feedback. Inviting the outside eye into the creative process necessarily involves some degree of collaboration, ranging from “cleaning up” minor transitions to correcting staging or substantially reorienting the artistic direction of the piece. Philosophically and practically speaking, an epistemological question arises as to how the choreographer knows he or she can trust the aesthetic judgment of the invited critic, or whether the authorized advice should be qualified or dismissed. Here we can only point to the general conditions that contribute to fidelity in this collaborative relationship. Like my predecessors – notably David Best, Graham McFee and Francis Sparshott – I do so by drawing on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later philosophical investigations into the background for aesthetic judgment. His contextualist, post-foundational philosophy points to common language and training – providing an ability to read complex circumstances and movement sequences – as the tenuous ground for “expert” judgment. After Bruce Ellis Benson I join to this a phenomenological perspective informed by Martin Heidegger’s essay “On the Origin of the Work of Art.” An outcome of this dialogical process is that the meaning of the dance does not rest in the head of its creator alone, but is mediated somewhere between the author, dancers, audience and critical commentator. pp. 106–123
JEL codes: H52; H75; I21; I23

Keywords: Wittgenstein; aesthetic judgment; dance criticism; epistemology; phenomenology

How to cite: Stickney, Jeff (2015), “Dancing Wittgenstein (After Foucault),” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 3(2): 106–123.

Received 26 July 2015 • Received in revised form 4 August 2015
Accepted 4 August 2015 • Available online 24 November 2015

JEFF STICKNEY
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University of Toronto

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