One of the nice things about writing blogs is that you can publish on a topic just because you feel like it on that particular day. Over at the Valve David Green has an entry on John Dewey's Art as Experience. Dewey seems forever on the verge of a comeback. He's our second most important theorist of experience, after Walter Benjamin. It's best to read them both; they complement each other very well, as Adorno once realized. Dewey is more down to earth in his assessment of art's role in experience, but less inventive and historically aware. Dewey is much clearer describing the need for whole experiences in daily life as an antidote to Erlebnis, Benjamin's term for empty repetitive or otherwise incomplete experience, although Benjamin is more detailed in his account of why whole experiences have become so rare in our lives. Dewey has more confidence in the power of narrative to order and give meaning to experience; Benjamin was alternately ambivalent and hostile to narrative.
In general, Dewey's account of experience is more accessible, Benjamin's more modernist. Benjamin was never as calmly systematic as Dewey, which can make Benjamin exasperating to read sometimes, but Dewey never produced anything like the daring insights of Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" or his writings on Baudelaire.