Wildness in the English garden tradition: A reassessment of the picturesque from environmental philosophy

Ethics and the Environment 13 (1):pp. 105-119 (2008)
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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

Environmental aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature and Environmentalism.Allen Carlson - 2011 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69:137-155.
A Deweyan Defense of Guerrilla Gardening.Shane Ralston - 2012 - The Pluralist 7 (3):57-70.

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References found in this work

The Aesthetics of Environment.Arnold Berleant - 1995 - Temple University Press.
Eco-Phenomenology: Back to the Earth Itself.Charles S. Brown & Ted Toadvine (eds.) - 2003 - State University of New York Press.
Aesthetics and the Environment.Allen Carlson - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):448-452.
The Aesthetics of Environment.Arnold Berleant - 1994 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52 (4):477-480.

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