Adam Smith's ''Sympathetic Imagination'' and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Environment

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1):95-109 (2011)
This paper explores the significance of Adam Smith's ideas for defending non-cognitivist theories of aesthetic appreciation of nature. Objections to non-cognitivism argue that the exercise of emotion and imagination in aesthetic judgement potentially sentimentalizes and trivializes nature. I argue that although directed at moral judgement, Smith's views also find a place in addressing this problem. First, sympathetic imagination may afford a deeper and more sensitive type of aesthetic engagement. Second, in taking up the position of the impartial spectator, aesthetic judgements may originate in a type of self-regulated response where we stand outside ourselves to check those overly humanizing tendencies which might lead to a failure in appreciating nature as nature
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DOI 10.3366/jsp.2011.0007
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Malcolm Budd (1996). The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):207-222.
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