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Abstract

A group of theorists in everyday aesthetics, named restrictivists, have explicated the notion of the everyday in terms of a particular stance of everydayness that they believe, in time, comes to characterize people’s relationships to their daily things and environments. The everyday is revealed to be something habitual and routine that, despite its ordinariness, provides a pleasurable sense of safety and trust. In this paper, I present a series of considerations drawing on John Dewey’s notion of habit, on the one hand, and Jane Forsey’s account of the aesthetics of design, on the other, that call into question the general image of the everyday present in restrictivists’ work. These examinations, along with a look at the notion of the everyday at the end of the paper, will show, I believe, that while restrictivism may very well capture some important aspects of everyday life, the structure and character some of its main proponents attach to the everyday do not have the necessity and inevitability they assume.

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