Natural functions and the aesthetic appreciation of inorganic nature

British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1):44-56 (2004)
The distinction between organic and inorganic nature receives little attention in contemporary nature aesthetics. Traditionally, however, this distinction was considered to have important aesthetic ramifications. Nick Zangwill has recently suggested that aesthetic differences between organic and inorganic nature arise because natural functions are present only in organic nature (for example, in the parts of organisms). I argue for a different explanation: though inorganic nature too has natural functions, these are metaphysically distinct from those characteristic of organic nature. I defend the claim that this difference in functions is aesthetically significant, and use it to justify a common intuition about the thesis of positive aesthetics for nature.
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DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/44.1.44
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Allen Carlson (2011). Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature and Environmentalism. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69:137-155.
Emily Brady (2011). The Ugly Truth: Negative Aesthetics and Environment. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69:83-99.

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