Rehabilitating the Aesthetics of Nature

Environmental Ethics 33 (1):45-56 (2011)
Abstract
At the end of the 1960s, two philosophers who did not know each other, and who came from different traditions and wrote in different languages, published two texts at almost the same time that called for the reinstatement of a philosophical discipline that had been largely abandoned by academia: the aesthetics of nature. One of the philosophers was Ronald Hepburn. His text, entitled “Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty,” appeared in 1966. The other was Theodor W. Adorno, who included a chapter entitled “Natural Beauty” in his book Aesthetic Theory, published in 1970. A comparison of these two foundational texts shows that, despite clear differences between them, there are also major affinities and shared ideas that would make a dialogue between the two proposals possible and therefore also a dialogue between analytic and continental aesthetics of nature
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