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Aesthetics of the Natural Environment

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In this systematic account of aesthetics in relation to the natural environment, Emily Brady provides critical understanding of what aesthetic appreciation of nature involves and develops her own distinctive aesthetic theory. In particular, she develops a theory of aesthetic appreciation which integrates subjective and objective approaches. Among the topics discussed which bring together philosophical aesthetics and environmental philosophy are: the nature of aesthetic experience; aesthetic value; theories of aesthetic appreciation of nature; art and environment; imagination, emotion and meaning in aesthetic appreciation of nature; the justification of aesthetic judgements of nature; the intersection between aesthetic and ethical value; and the role of aesthetics in nature conservation and environmental policy. In providing a thorough account of the literature together with original critical insights this book should be of interest to undergraduates, postgraduates and academics in environmental philosophy and aesthetics as well as those in geography, landscape architecture, art theory and sociology.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Aesthetic Appreciation; Aesthetic Experience; Aesthetic Qualities; Aesthetic Value; 2. Early Theories of Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature; Aesthetic Appreciation before the 18th century; The Beautiful, the Sublime and the Picturesque; Romanticism and After; Towards the Contemporary Debate; 3. Culture, Art and Environment; Nature and Culture; Appreciating Art and Natural Environments; Meaning, Interpretation and Cultural Landscapes; 4. Contemporary Theories of Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature; The Contemporary Debate; Cognitive Theories; Non-Cognitive Theories; 5. The Integrated Aesthetic I: Multi-Sensuous Engagement and Disinterestedness; The Integrated Aesthetic; Multi-Sensuous Engagement; Disinterestedness; Disinterestedness and Valuing Nature; 6. The Integrated Aesthetic II: Imagination, Emotion and Knowledge Imagination; Imagination and Natural Environments; The Communicability of Imagination; Emotion, Expressive Qualities and Nature; Knowledge in the Integrated Aesthetic; 7. Aesthetic Judgements of the Natural Environment and Aesthetic Communication; Aesthetic Judgements and Objectivity; Aesthetic Judgements of Nature; Agreement, Disagreement and the Problem of Taste; Aesthetic Communication; Aesthetic Criticism and Environmental Aesthetic Education; 8. Aesthetics, Ethics and Environmental Conservation; Aesthetic Value in Environmental Conservation; Landscape Character and the Integrated Aesthetic; Aesthetic Character and Aesthetic Integrity: The Case of the Harris Superquarry; Aesthetics, Ethics and Conservation; Aesthetics and Respect for Nature; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Emily Brady is Lecturer in Philosophy at Lancaster University, Docent in Aesthetics at the University of Helsinki and a researcher in the Finnish Academy.


Emily Brady's timely Aesthetics of the Natural Environment provides a clear and systematic introduction to central topics in environmental aesthetics ! An excellent resource for anyone new to the area. Admirably comprehensive coverage of the subject. -- Professor Arnold Berleant, Emeritus Professor, Long Island University, USA

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