Wildness in the English garden tradition: A reassessment of the picturesque from environmental philosophy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and the Environment 13 (1):pp. 105-119 (2008)
The picturesque is usually interpreted as an admiration of 'picture-like,' and thus inauthentic, nature. In contrast, this paper sets out an interpretation that is more in accord with the contemporary love of wildness. This paper will briefly cover some garden history in order to contextualize the discussion and proceed by reassessing the picturesque through the eighteenth century works of Price and Watelet. It will then identify six themes in their work (variety, intricacy, engagement, time, chance, and transition) and show that, far from forcing a 'picture-like' stereotype on nature, the picturesque guided the way for a new appreciation of wildness—one that resonates with contemporary environmental philosophy.
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Citations of this work BETA
Shane J. Ralston (2011). It Takes a Garden Project: Dewey and Pudup on the Politics of School Gardening. Ethics and the Environment 16 (2):1-24.
Shane Ralston (2012). A Deweyan Defense of Guerrilla Gardening. The Pluralist 7 (3):57-70.
Allen Carlson (2011). Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature and Environmentalism. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69:137-155.
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Walter John Hipple (1957). The Beautiful, the Sublime, & the Picturesque in Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetic Theory. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.
Stephen Copley & Peter Garside (eds.) (1994). The Politics of the Picturesque: Literature, Landscape, and Aesthetics Since 1770. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas H. Birch (1990). The Incarceration of Wildness: Wilderness Areas as Prisons. Environmental Ethics 12 (1):3-26.
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Robert Scott Stewart & Roderick Nicholls (2002). Virtual Worlds, Travel, and the Picturesque Garden. Philosophy and Geography 5 (1):83 – 99.
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