Aesthetic Value, Ethics and Climate Change

Environmental Values 23 (5):551-570 (2014)
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Abstract

Philosophical discussions of climate change have mainly conceived of it as a moral or ethical problem, but climate change also raises new challenges for aesthetics. In this paper I show that, in particular, climate change (1) raises difficult questions about the status of aesthetic judgments about the future, or 'future aesthetics'; and (2) puts into relief some challenging issues at the intersection of aesthetics and ethics. I maintain that we can rely on aesthetic predictions to enable us to grasp, in some sense, aesthetic value in environments affected by climate change and, through a discussion of three hypothetical cases, I argue that, although moral considerations will press on aesthetic judgments, aesthetic value will not necessarily be trumped by them.

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Emily Brady
Texas A&M University

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