On being moved by nature: between religion and natural history

In . Cambridge University Press. pp. 244-266 (1993)
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INTRODUCTIONFor the last two and a half decades – perhaps spurred onwards by R. W. Hepburn's seminal, wonderfully sensitive and astute essay “Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty” – philosophical interest in the aesthetic appreciation of nature has been gaining momentum. One of the most coherent, powerfully argued, thorough, and philosophically compelling theories to emerge from this evolving arena of debate has been developed over a series of articles by Allen Carlson. The sophistication of Carlson's approach – especially in terms of his careful style of argumentation – has raised the level of philosophical discussion concerning the aesthetic appreciation of nature immensely and it has taught us all what is at stake, logically and epistemologically, in advancing a theory of nature appreciation. Carlson has not only presented a bold theory of the aesthetic appreciation of nature; he has also refined a methodological framework and a set of constraints that every researcher in the field must address.Stated summarily, Carlson's view of the appreciation of nature is that it is a matter of scientific understanding; that is, the correct or appropriate form that the appreciation of nature – properly so called – should take is a species of natural history; appreciating nature is a matter of understanding nature under the suitable scientific categories.



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Noel Carroll
CUNY Graduate Center

Citations of this work

Two-Tiered Theory of the Sublime.Sandra Shapshay - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (2):123-143.
Environmental Aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Scratching an Itch.Sherri Irvin - 2008 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (1):25-35.

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