Environmental Aesthetics, Ethics, and Ecoaesthetics

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (4):399-410 (2018)
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This essay is an overview of recent research aimed at establishing a link between environmental aesthetics and environmental ethics. I review the work of several prominent environmental philosophers and environmental aestheticians, spelling out some of the difficulties confronting various attempts to find such a link. While I argue that a case can be made for a connection between environmental aesthetics and environmental ethics concerning human‐created and human‐influenced environments, I find that there are a number of problems facing attempts to establish a similar connection for natural or pristine environments. I examine some attempts to support such a connection, including each of two different accounts of the aesthetic appreciation of nature in contemporary Western environmental aesthetics as well as the union of these two accounts, sometimes called ecoaesthetics. I briefly discuss two Western versions of ecoaesthetics and then turn to research by Chinese aestheticians, who defend a more robust version of ecoaesthetics. I suggest that this latter work may succeed in connecting environmental aesthetics and environmental ethics, although not in exactly the way in which such a link has been pursued by Western philosophers.



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C. David Allen
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

Environmental Virtue Aesthetics.Nicole Hall & Emily Brady - 2023 - British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (1):109-126.
Environmental aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the Aesthetic Appreciation of Damaged Environments.María José Alcaraz León - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (4):420-431.

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References found in this work

Aesthetics of the natural environment.Emily Brady - 2003 - Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Moderate moralism.Noël Carroll - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):223-238.
Moderate Moralism.Noël Carroll - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):223-238.
Appreciation and the natural environment.Allen Carlson - 1979 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (3):267-275.
Nature and positive aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 1984 - Environmental Ethics 6 (1):5-34.

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