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Aesthetics and The Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture

By: Allen Carlson

272 pages, Illus


Hardback | Dec 1999 | #107208 | ISBN: 0415206839
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NHBS Price: £94.99 $123/€106 approx

About this book

Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art. Allen Carlson shows how much of aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature, in one's response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from a window. He argues that knowledge of what it is that people are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience and that scientific understanding of nature can enhance the appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it.

'Excellent.. a model of clarity and fairmindedness; it is exceptionally well-informed; it is wide ranging, covering nearly all the main topics in the aesthetics of nature, and others besides; and it is ambitious, offering answers to all the problems it considers. It is a book that anyone seriously concerned with the aesthetics of the environment must come to terms with,' - Mind; 'Philosophical aesthetics at its best.' - Canadian Aesthetics Journal; 'Fascinating... this is an important body of work in contemporary aesthetics.' - British Journal of Aesthetics; 'An excellent overview of analytical environmental aesthetics.' - Environmental Politics; 'Ambitious and challenging... this book will certainly stimulate many aestheticians, and others as well.' - Philosophical Quarterly; 'A richly textured, provocative set of texts that will undoubtedly be of great value to students.' - Philosophy in Review; 'I found much stimulating discussion in these pages. [Carlson] is a worthy opponent for those wedded to a more Kantian or historicist approach to natural beauty.' - British Journal of Aesthetics


List of illustrations Preface Acknowledgements; Introduction: aesthetics and the environment; Part I The appreciation of nature; I The aesthetics of nature, A brief historical overview; A brief overview of contemporary positions; The natural environmental model: some further ramifications; Notes; 2 Understanding and aesthetic experience; Aesthetic experience on the Mississippi; Formalism and aesthetic experience; Disinterestedness and aesthetic experience; Conclusion; Notes; 3 Formal qualities in the natural environment; Formal qualities and formalism; Formal qualities in current work in environmental aesthetics Background on the significance assigned to formal qualities; Formal qualities in the natural environment; Conclusion; Notes; 4 Appreciation and the natural environment; The appreciation of art; Some artistic models for the appreciation of nature; An environmental model for the appreciation of nature; Conclusion; Notes; 5 Nature, aesthetic judgment, and objectivity; Nature and objectivity; Walton's position; Nature and culture; Nature and Walton's psychological claim; The correct categories of nature; Conclusion; Notes; 6 Nature and positive aesthetics; The development of positive aesthetics; Nature appreciation as non-aesthetic; Positive aesthetics and sublimity; Positive aesthetics and theism; Science and aesthetic appreciation of nature; Science and appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature; Science and positive aesthetics; Notes; 7 Appreciating art and appreciating nature; The concept of appreciation; Appreciating Art: design and appreciation; Appreciating Art: order appreciation; Appreciation nature: design appreciation; Appreciating nature: order appreciation; Conclusion; Notes; Part II; Landscapes, art and architecture; 8 Between nature and art; The question of aesthetic relevance; Objects of appreciation and aesthetic necessity; Between nature and art: Appreciating other things; Notes; 9 Environmental aesthetics and the dilemma of aesthetic education; The eyesaw argument; The dilemma of aesthetic education; The natural; The aesthetically pleasing; Life values and the eyesore argument; Conclusion; Notes; 10 is environmental art an aesthetic affront to nature? Environmental works of art; Environmental art as an aesthetic affront; Some replies to the affront charge; Some concluding examples; Notes; 11 The aesthetic appreciation of Japanese gardens; The dialectical nature of Japanese gardens; The new agricultural landscapes; Difficult aesthetic appreciation and novelty; 12 Appreciating the new agricultural landscapes; Traditional agricultural landscapes; The new agricultural landscapes; Difficult aesthetic appreciation and novelty; Appreciating the new agricultural landscapes; Conclusion; Notes; 13 Existence, location, and function: the appreciation of architecture; Architecture and art; To be or not to be: Hamlet and Tolstoy; Here I stand; to fit or not to fit; Form follows function and fit follows function, Function, location, existence: the path of appreciation; Notes; 14 Landscape and literature; Hillerman's landscapes and aesthetic relevance; Classic formalism and postmodern landscape appreciation; Formal descriptions and ordinary descriptions; Other factual landscape descriptions; The analogy with art argument; Nominal descriptions; Imaginative descriptions and cultural embeddedness; Mythological landscape descriptions; Literary landscape descriptions; The analogy with art argument again; Conclusion; Notes; Index.

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