The old, historical concept of ‘disinterestedness’ has dominated the tradition of aesthetics for almost two centuries. In environmental aesthetics, a rather recent branch of aesthetics, some scholars such as Arnold Berleant have criticized disinterestedness, claiming that it is not a satisfactory criterion since it views the environment as an artwork. As an alternative, Berleant proposes a theory of the ‘aesthetics of engagement’. I claim that although his main intention is to introduce a comprehensive perception of nature, ‘appreciating nature (...) as nature’, into the aesthetics of nature, Berleant misinterprets ‘disinterestedness’ and overlooks the fact that it can still be maintained within environmental aesthetics. Disinterestedness can guide our judgements with the notions of non-instrumentality, transparent self, and impartiality. In this sense, I argue that the proper opposite of engagement is not disinterestedness but a dominant concept of aesthetics left over from the eighteenth century, the ‘picturesque’, in contrast to holistic accounts of the philosophers who look for an immersion-of-self-in-a-bigger-Self, disinterestedness provides being devoid-of-any-empirical-self and disinterestedness is not anthropocentric, but anthropogenic, human-generated, which accepts the ‘otherness’ of nature and opens the way for respect and care in environmental ethics. (shrink)
Arnold Berleant shares much in common with John Dewey. His notion of aesthetic engagement, which is central to his philosophy of art, is, like Dewey’s concept of “an experience,” an attack on dualistic notions of aesthetic experience. To the extent that Berleant and I are both Deweyans, we agree that we need to turn from the art object to art experience. Art is what it does in experience. Yet appreciative experience of art cannot happen without, at some point, (...) focusing on the art object as such, and this means bracketing context. Engagement is important, but so too are contemplation, disinterestedness and distance. Contemplation, for example, is a moment both in the creative process and in the process of appreciation. Moreover, following Brand and Gracyk, it will be argued in the present paper that only through toggling between contemplation and engagement can we obtain a full experience of art, nature, or of the everyday. (shrink)
Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environ- mental Aesthetics. Edited by ARNOLD BERLEANT . Ashgate. 2002. pp. 192. C ONSISTING of twelve chapters, and an extended introduction, this volume provides a leading-edge anthology of reflections on environmental aesthetics.
The selection of papers in the 6th Volume of the ESPES journal focusus on the development, analyses and critique of Arnold Berleant’s ideas on aesthetic engagement, social aesthetics, negative aesthetics, and environmental aesthetics. These issues are aproached by researchers from various continents showing the inspirational potential of Berleant’s perspective, inviting metaphors, opening paths for individual developmet in the field of art philosophy and aesthetics.
Music as perception and creation is processual in nature. Its nature is development, succession, dialogical processes of reaching out and harmonizing. Not one process, in fact, but many. Among these processes that make music, author would like to focus on a very specific process of human self development which occurs during listening to music (in any music experience). The entanglement of different ways, in which musical processes appear in the world, author feels, suggest reaching out for Maurice Merleau-Ponty's concept of (...) chiasm and the phenomenological tradition. Finding a possibility of resolving seemingly chaotic image of music lies in proceeding gradually along the way of one of the processes while acknowledging at the same time the chiasmatic character of multiple experienced processes. In the course of the paper author stresses that the understanding of music as a process addresses both creative and receptive [aesthetic] experiences of music, and more specifically the process of [self] development, that can be found the both of these experiences. Process of changing through knowledge and growing through building an imaginary society; through reaching out to the other and explaining oneself in a process of self presentation but most importantly through listening-in to the world around. (shrink)
Arnold Berleant’s enlargement of the scope of aesthetics to environments and social relationships opens the way for associations with approaches from other human and social sciences. One possible term of comparison is Hartmut Rosa’s theory of modernity, which applies the concept of resonance to various fields, including nature and art. At the beginning, their aims appear to be different and their alternatives slightly different: engagement stresses the continuity between the embodied self and the world, whereas resonance is primarily based (...) upon a model of communication. Nevertheless, their relational theories converge in several respects: they focus on experience, defend participatory models against objectifying and merely contemplative relationships, and practise social criticism in their search for a meaningful and good life. (shrink)
This paper explores the ethical dimensions of aesthetic engagement, the central theme of Arnold Berleant’s aesthetics. His recent works on social aesthetics and negative aesthetics explicitly argue for the inseparability of aesthetics from the rest of life, in particular ethical concerns. Aesthetic engagement requires overcoming the subject-object divide and adopting an attitude of open-mindedness, responsiveness, reciprocity, and collaboration, as well as the willingness and readiness to expose negative aesthetics for what it is. These requirements characterize not only the nature (...) of aesthetic experience but also, perhaps more fundamentally, our mode of being in the world and the accompanying ethical responsibility. Among the present paper’s principal aims is to show how this view of aesthetic and ethical stance is also shared by the important aspects of the Japanese worldview, aesthetics, and artistic practices. (shrink)
This paper describes the general concepts of Arnold Berleant's urban metaphors in order to use them as a background for presenting a different perspective on the aesthetics of engagement through the prism of contemporary dance strategies and design practices in architecture and urban planning.
Excellence in sport performance is normally taken to be a matter of superior performance of physical movements or quantitative outcomes of movements. This paper considers whether a wider conception can be afforded by certain kinds of nature based sport. The interplay between technical skill and aesthetic experience in nature based sports is explored, and the extent to which it contributes to a distinction between different sport-based approaches to natural environments. The potential for aesthetic appreciation of environmental engagement is found to (...) be strongly dependent on whether or not environmental engagement is exploited for the end of producing a quantifiable result or enhancing technical skill. It is also argued that an existential rather than spectatorial attitude to aesthetic experience is offered by specifically nature oriented sport. Aesthetic experience achieved in this way is therefore neither passive nor detached, but extends Berleant's concept of participatory environmental aesthetics and underpins both an alternate (wide) conception of excellence in sport activity and a richer experience of aesthetic engagement than more objectivised standpoints. (shrink)
Aesthetic debates within contemporary art have been tangential to the debates in environmental aesthetics since the 1960s. I argue that these disciplines, having evolved separately in response to the limitations of traditional aesthetics, may now usefully inform each other. Firstly, the dematerialisation of art as the focus of aesthetic experience may have environmentally useful consequences. Secondly, Gablik's 'connective aesthetics ', like Berleant's ' aesthetics of engagement', folds aesthetic experience into the social as a kind of environmental aesthetics. Thirdly, contemporary (...) art's flexible readings of ' framing ' can respond to 'frameless' natural environments, and finally, Kester's 'dialogical aesthetics ' may be enriched by Berleant's systematic account of ' contextual aesthetics '. (shrink)
Can an understanding be formed of how sensory experience might be presented or manipulated in visual art in order to promote a relational concept of the senses, in opposition to the customary, capitalist notion of sensation as a private possession, as a sensory impression that is mine? I ask the question in the light of recent visual art theory and practice which pursue relational, ecological ambitions. As Arnold Berleant, Nicolas Bourriaud, and Grant Kester see it, ecological ambition and artistic (...) form should correspond, but they fail to recognize sensation as a site where the ecological cause can be fought. Jacques Rancière argues for the political force of the senses, but his distribution of the sensible does not address the particularity of sensory experience. I identify the difference between these approaches within recent relational or ecological aesthetics and my position on sensibility, and indicate some of the problems involved in referring to the senses. I set out the concepts that are central to the cultivation of relational sensibility: style, autofiguration, and the mobility of sensory meaning, extrapolated from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s discussion of Paul Cézanne. They amount to positioning the senses ontologically as movements along lines of conceptual-sensory connection and implication, based on the transfer of meanings created artistically through style and autofiguration. (shrink)
This essay presents a methodological framework for assessing the adequacy of philosophical accounts of the aesthetic appreciation of nature. The framework involves five requirements, each of which is labeled after a philosopher who has defended it. They are called Ziff's Anything Viewed Doctrine, Budd's As Nature Constraint, Berleant's Unified Aesthetics Requirement, Hepburn's Serious Beauty Intuition, and Thompson's Objectivity Desideratum. The conclusion of the essay is that most contemporary treatments of the aesthetics of nature fail to comply with one or (...) more of these requirements and that only Scientific Cognitivism satisfies the framework consisting of all five. (shrink)
The work begins by asking the questions of how contemporary phenomenology is concerned with music, and how phenomenological descriptions of music and musical experiences are helpful in grasping the concreteness of these experiences. I then proceed with minor findings from phenomenological authorities, who seem to somehow need music to explain their phenomenology. From Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Jean-Luc Nancy and back to Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, there are musical findings to be asserted. I propose to look at phenomenological studies of (...) the musical aspects of existence as they appear in various philosophical works bringing together different accounts of music and aesthetics and pointing towards phenomenological study as a methodology for everyday aesthetics. While there are many different areas of music phenomenology such as studies of sound and listening, studies in perception of musical works, in experience of artistic creation, in singing and playing musical instruments, and phenomenology of transcendent or religious horizons of the experience of music, it is most promising—I suggest—to look at phenomenological studies of music from the perspective of everyday happenings and discoveries of musical aspects of life. Thus, I attempt to display the uses of phenomenology in finding musical aspects of everyday existence as well as in describing and illuminating the art of music. A look at Roman Ingarden’s and Mikel Dufrenne’s most intuitive and promising ideas will be broadened with a perspective from Don Ihde and Arnold Berleant. (shrink)
The article discusses installation art and its potential contribution to a transdisciplinary research practice, in which not only artistic, but also aesthetic theoretical approaches could play a central role. However, as the article shows, this firstly requires a change in perspective concerning the way we approach art. Secondly, it entails changes to a common understanding of aesthetic theory and, thereby, philosophy. A term of central significance in this context is the notion of aisthesis. The article will illustrate these thoughts through (...) the examples of Bruce Nauman, Ilya Kabakov, and Arnold Berleant. (shrink)
Traditionally, analytic philosophers writing on aesthetics have given short shrift to nature. The last thirty years, however, have seen a steady growth of interest in this area. The essays and books now available cover central philosophical issues concerning the nature of the aesthetic and the existence of norms for aesthetic judgement. They also intersect with important issues in environmental philosophy. More recent contributions have opened up new topics, such as the relationship between natural sound and music, the beauty of animals, (...) and the aesthetics of gardens. Using these materials, it is now easy to include a module on the aesthetics of nature as one part of an introductory course on aesthetics, or even to design an entire upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar around the topic. Author Recommends: Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Readers coming fresh to contemporary debates may find the lack of attention to natural beauty in twentieth-century philosophy somewhat puzzling. This paper, which defends the view that nature cannot be aesthetically appreciated as such, presents this attitude in a particularly pure form. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This seminal essay marks the beginning of contemporary discussion of the aesthetics of nature. Many of its ideas and themes continue to reverberate in contemporary debates. Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2000). This volume is a collection of Carlson's influential essays on environmental aesthetics. Chapters 4 and 5, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment' and 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', set the agenda for much subsequent discussion in the aesthetics of nature. Chapter 6, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', develops and defends the controversial idea that nature, unlike art, is always aesthetically good. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). In this paper, Berleant presents his influential idea of an 'engaged aesthetics' for nature. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. This article develops Saito's idea that ethical considerations play a critical role in the aesthetics of nature, and presents a novel argument for Positive Aesthetics for nature. Malcolm Budd, The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature: Essays on the Aesthetics of Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). This book collects Budd's papers on the aesthetics of nature, which contain important criticisms of Carlson's natural environmental model and the notion of Positive Aesthetics for nature. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This paper argues for the importance of aesthetic appreciation that emphasizes emotional responses to nature. A philosophically sophisticated and influential treatment by a leading aesthetician. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. In this essay, an environmental philosopher gives careful and thorough consideration to the place of aesthetic considerations in environmental protection, focusing on Carlson's work. John Andrew Fisher, 'What the Hills are Alive With: In Defense of the Sounds of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 167–79. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Most discussions of nature aesthetics focus on visual experiences; this essay is the first philosophical study of the aesthetics of natural sounds. A nuanced and original paper. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant. 'Introduction: The Aesthetics of Nature'. The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 11–42. A comprehensive review of the literature, this essay contains the best available bibliography on the subject. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/environmental-aesthetics/ Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=17 Teaching Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's article on the American Society for Aesthetics Web site. http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/ Volume 6 of AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique: Papers by Thomas Heyd and Ira Newman on Allen Carlson's book Aesthetics and the Environment, along with a response from Carlson. http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=400 Paradoxes and Puzzles: Appreciating Gardens and Urban Nature: An essay by Stephanie Ross in the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics. Sample Syllabus for a three-week module in an undergraduate aesthetics course: This three week module can easily be adapted to fit shorter available class time or reduced reading expectations for students. A lighter two-week module, for instance, would drop the Hepburn reading and do either the Carroll essay or the Saito essay, but not both. Note that all readings for this module are reprinted in Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Reading: Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Discussion of Hepburn's essay will allow the instructor to bring out the distinctive issues and themes of the aesthetics of nature. Week 2: Objectivity or Subjectivity? Readings: Allen Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1979): 267–76. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. This section covers two very different approaches to thinking about the aesthetic appreciation of nature. Consideration of these provides an opportunity for students to reflect on nature's relationship to art, and on the character of aesthetic experience itself. Week 3: Pluralistic Approaches Readings: Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. This section considers approaches that are motivated by perceived limitations of the two approaches mentioned above. In discussing these, students will focus on the significance, for the aesthetics of nature, of emotion and also of broader ethical considerations. Sample Syllabus for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar: Books on Syllabus: Glenn Parsons, Aesthetics and Nature [AN] (London: Continuum Press, forthcoming November 2008). Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture [AE] (London: Routledge, 2000). Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments [ANE] (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Parsons, AN, ch. 1. Allen Carlson, 'Environmental Aesthetics'. The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics. Eds. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes (London: Routledge, 2001), 423–36. Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in ANE. Week 2: Imagination Parsons, AN, ch. 2. Thomas Heyd, 'Aesthetic Appreciation and the Many Stories About Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2001): 125–37. Reprinted in ANE. Emily Brady, 'Imagination and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 139–47. Reprinted in ANE. Marcia Eaton, 'Fact and Fiction in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 149–56. Reprinted in ANE. Week 3: Formalism Parsons, AN, ch. 3. Carlson, 'Formal Qualities and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 3. Allen Carlson, 'On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty'. Landscape Planning 4 (1977): 131–72. Ira Newman, 'Reflections on Allen Carlson's Aesthetics and the Environment'. AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique 6 (2001) http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/Carlson/newman.html>. Nick Zangwill, 'Formal Natural Beauty'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 21 (2001): 209–24. Week 4: Science and Nature Aesthetics Parsons, AN, ch. 4. Aldo Leopold, 'Country'. A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1966), 177–80. Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 4. Carlson, 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', AE, ch. 5. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 358–72. Week 5: Positive Aesthetics Carlson, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', AE, ch. 6. Eugene Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Denton, TX: Environmental Ethics Books, 1996), ch. 6. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. Malcolm Budd, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2000): 137–57. Glenn Parsons, 'Nature Appreciation, Science and Positive Aesthetics'. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 279–95. Week 6: Animals Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ), Pt. III, sec. VI. Holmes Rolston III, 'Beauty and the Beast: Aesthetic Experience of Wildlife'. Valuing Wildlife: Economic and Social Perspectives. Eds. Daniel J. Decker and Gary R. Goff (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), 187–96. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetic Value of Animals'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2007): 151–69. Week 7: Pluralism Parsons, AN, ch. 5. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in ANE. Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Reprinted in ANE. Ronald Hepburn, 'Nature Humanized: Nature Respected'. Environmental Values 7 (1998): 267–79. Ronald Hepburn, 'Trivial and Serious in Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 65–80. Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson, 'New Formalism and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004): 363–76. Week 8: Engagement Parsons, AN, ch. 6. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in ANE. Cheryl Foster, 'The Narrative and the Ambient in Environmental Aesthetics'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 127–37. Reprinted in ANE. Allen Carlson, 'Aesthetics and Engagement'. British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1993): 220–27. Week 9: The Sublime Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews (Cambridge University Press, 2000 ). Excerpts from sections 23–9. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ). Excerpts from Pt. II, sections 1–8. Ronald Hepburn, 'The Concept of the Sublime: Has it any Relevance for Philosophy Today?'. Dialectics and Humanism 15 (1988): 137–55. Stan Godlovitch, 'Icebreakers: Environmentalism and Natural Aesthetics'. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1994): 15–30. Reprinted in ANE. Malcolm Budd, 'Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. Part I: The Sublime in Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (1998): 233–50. Week 10: Aesthetic Preservation Parsons, AN, ch. 7. Janna Thompson, 'Aesthetics and the Value of Nature'. Environmental Ethics 17 (1995): 291–305. Holmes Rolston III, 'From Beauty to Duty: Aesthetics of Nature and Environmental Ethics'. Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics. Ed. Arnold Berleant (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002), 127–41. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. Keekok Lee, 'Beauty for Ever?'. Environmental Values 4 (1995): 213–25. Week 11: Gardens Parsons, AN, ch. 8. Mara Miller, The Garden as an Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), ch. 1. Mara Miller, 'Gardens as Works of Art: The Problem of Uniqueness'. British Journal of Aesthetics 26 (1986): 252–6. Stephanie Ross, What Gardens Mean (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), chs. 1, 7. Tom Leddy, 'Gardens in an Expanded Field'. British Journal of Aesthetics 28 (1988): 327–40. David Cooper, 'In Praise of Gardens'. British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2003): 101–13. Week 12: Art in Nature Parsons, AN, ch. 9. Carlson, 'Is Environmental Art an Aesthetic Affront to Nature?', AE, ch. 10. Sheila Lintott, 'Ethically Evaluating Land Art: Is It Worth It?'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 263–77. Emily Brady, 'Aesthetic Regard for Nature in Environmental and Land Art'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 287–300. Focus Questions1. Are there any important differences between the aesthetic appreciation of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature? If so, what are they?2. Is preserving nature for its aesthetic value a coherent idea?3. What is the ugliest natural thing or place you can think of? How might proponents of Positive Aesthetics for nature deal with your example?4. Does the concept of the sublime have any significance for our contemporary experience of nature? If it does, what relation does it bear to our aesthetic appreciation of nature?5. Watch Rivers and Tides (2001), the documentary film about the British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. Ethically speaking, how do you think we ought to regard his art-making? (shrink)
I identify a commonly held position in environmental philosophy, “the received view,” and argue that its proponents beg the question when challenged to demonstrate the relevance of environmental aesthetics for environmental justice. I call this “the inference problem,” and I go on to argue that an alternative to the received view, Arnold Berleant’s participatory engagement model, is better equipped to meet the challenge it poses. By adopting an alternative metaphysics, the engagement model supplies a solution to the inference problem (...) and thereby provides a more useful theoretical framework for application to pressing concernsin environmental justice, such as the plight of the historical Ironbound District of Newark, New Jersey. (shrink)
Contents: PART I: AESTHETICS OF ARCHITECTURE: QUESTIONS. Francis SPARSHOTT: The Aesthetics of Architecture and the Politics of Space. Arnold BERLEANT: Architecture and the Aesthetics of Continuity. Stephen DAVIES: Is Architecture Art? PART II: NATURE OF ARCHITECTURE. B.R. TILGHMAN: Architecture, Expression, and the Understanding of a Culture. David NOVITZ: Architectural Brilliance and the Constraints of Time. Michael H. MITIAS: Expression in Architecture. Ralf WEBER: The Myth of Meaningful Forms. Michael H. MITIAS: Is Meaning in Architecture a Myth? A Response to (...) Ralf Weber. PART III: AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE IN ARCHITECTURE. Allen CARLSON: Existence, Location, and Function: The Appreciation of Architecture. Martin DONOUGHO: Spaced Out or Folded In? Trends in Architectural Choreography. Tom LEDDY: Dialogical Architecture. Roy T. DECKER: Tactility and Imagination: Considerations of Aesthetic Experience in Architecture. Robert GINSBERG: Aesthetics in Hiroshima. The Architecture of Remembrance. (shrink)
Possibility of the Aesthetic Experience, edited by Michael H. Mitias, is an interesting and diverse collection of essays. It is difficult to know where to begin to evaluate such a collection; the styles move from the quasi-phenomenological of Arnold Berleant’s “Experience and Theory in Aesthetics,” to the historical and technical analyses of Carla Cordua’s “A Critique of Aesthetics” and Bohdan Dziemidok’s “Controversy About Aesthetic Attitude.” In this brief review, therefore, I shall address the book in a way that I (...) would use it—as a supporting text in an advanced undergraduate aesthetics course. (shrink)
This book, an outgrowth of the Bannerstone Division of American Lectures in Philosophy, is an attempt to form the groundwork for an empirical aesthetic that will be flexible and all-inclusive. Berleant bases his ideas on the concept of an open-ended aesthetic field in which art objects are actively experienced. This field consists of the art object, the perceiver, the artist, and the performer. It also includes conditioning factors of a biological, psychological, technological, historical, social, and cultural nature. When the (...) aesthetic field is considered experientially the result is what Berleant terms an "aesthetic transaction." Aesthetics itself must be understood on a level that does not attempt to either translate the art into other terms or to exclude those works of art which do not happen to fit into the particular theory one is espousing. Theories must fit art not the other way around. The predominant characteristics of aesthetic experience are identified as active-receptive, qualitative, sensuous, immediate, intuitive, non-cognitive, unique, intrinsic and integral. One of Berleant's main concerns is to rescue the whole field of aesthetics from its present semantic morass. He does this by shifting the art object from the position of prime importance to just one component of a multifaceted field in which perceiving and experiencing is the main objective. A number of Berleant's statements are questionable: most artists are not as audience-oriented as his theory demands they be; art objects are imbued occasionally with life and abilities which inanimate objects do not have; there is no recognition of the common situation in which only the artist ever sees a particular work so that one person only is the creator, the audience and, the critic--a fact which weakens Berleant's reasons for placing the critic outside the aesthetic field; and finally, there is total avoidance of the psychology of artists. But intelligence and imagination are at work here and the result is a provocative book.--B. T. (shrink)
In order to develop environmental aesthetics, Berleant takes environment as an aesthetic paradigm. His understanding of the nature of environment decides the nature of his aesthetics of engagement, which emphasizes experiential continuity and rejects the separation between subject and object. Based on these ideas, he criticizes Kant’s core idea of disinterestedness in his series of books. Berleant’s environmental aesthetics has a significant impact on ecoaesthetics in China. However, Berleant’s criticism of Kant’s core idea of disinterestedness is a (...) misunderstanding and his conception of environment is not fundamentally sound. The future of ecoaesthetics is taking ecosystem not environment as a new aesthetic paradigm. (shrink)
Convinced that we need a new aesthetic theory, Berleant attempts "to carry forward such an effort by developing and documenting a framework for aesthetic inquiry free from the restrictive ideas of the recent past". The book divides into three unequal parts. The first offers a sketch of traditional aesthetics and, mindful of the impact of technological change on aesthetic experience, proposes that we replace such key features, often taken for granted, as "disinterestedness" and "contemplation" with "engagement" and "participation." The (...) five chapters of the second part develop these ideas in discussions of painting, sculpture, novels, music, and dance. The third part begins with a thought-provoking discussion of film, "the mass art of our day", and proceeds to a consideration of "the realities of art". This part concludes with a brief look at some of the broad implications of this attempt to recast aesthetics. (shrink)
The theory presented in my book, Natural Beauty , is syncretic in that it denies the exclusivity of any one model of aesthetic appreciation of natural objects and instead insists: (1) that there is a tight, reciprocating connection between talents of perception that we develop in relation to arts and to natural objects; and (2) that the appreciation of natural beauty is intimately connected to the appreciation of other social values, including ethical values. In this paper, I respond to criticisms (...) of my syncretic approach---chiefly that it fails to reconcile objective and subjective elements in aesthetic judgment, that it fails to marshal its many modes of judgment into rational consistency, and that it fails to take proper stock of the role of scientific knowledge in these judgments---offered by Arnold Berleant, Stephanie Ross, and Glenn Parsons. (shrink)
Arnold Berleant has produced once again a stimulating set of reflections on “vitally important topics” in the aesthetic field. The present book is more a collection than a treatise. This characteristic is the source both of the book’s very real value and of its shortcomings, minor as they may be from the substantive point of view. Berleant’s prior books and articles make up a most impressive scholarly and intellectual achievement, and they clearly inform the discussions and arguments brought (...) forth in this latest installment of his philosophical project. This book continues, recapitulates, reformulates, and extends the analyses of his earlier work. It exemplifies the prime characteristics of all of Berleant’s work: .. (shrink)
More and more these days it is asked whether aesthetics is still possible. A question that, given the context and phrasing, seems to direct us towards its answer. Conferences and meetings, books and journal specials examine the issue of aesthetics, talk about rediscovery or return of aesthetics. Well known philosophers and aestheticians underscore the need to reconsider the foundations of aesthetics and set new directions for aesthetics today (Berleant, 2004) or attempt to expand aesthetics beyond aesthetics–like Welsch, for example (...) who tries to extend aesthetics beyond art to society and the life-world (Welsch, 1997). Others underline the need to revisit the aesthetic experience (Shusterman, 1999; Iseminger, 2002, Fenner, 1996) and examine the relevance or irrelevance of the aesthetic with art (Carroll, 2001). It seems that it is strongly recommended to turn to aesthetics on the condition however to carefully re-approach the meaning and import of the term in the present situation. The aesthetic that Passmore condemned as “dreary”(Passmore, 1954), the one Sparshott considered a formless conception, vague and loose in application (Sparshott, 1982), the same that Danto emphatically argues that has nothing to do with the definition of art or arts in general (Danto, 1981) returns to claim its rightful place in the fields of philosophy and critical theory (Levine, 1994, Michaud, 1999), as well as artistic creation. And one cannot but wonder: what does this return mean? What was the degree of aesthetics decline that we need to discuss about recovery or for new implementations of aesthetics? (shrink)