Thinking through Botanic Gardens

Environmental Values 15 (2):197 - 212 (2006)

Abstract

This essay discusses ways of thinking about botanic gardens that pay close attention to their particularity as designed spaces, dependent on technique, that nonetheless purport to present (and preserve) natural entities (plants). I introduce an account of what gardens are, how botanic gardens differ from other gardens, and how this particular form of garden arose in history. After this I contrast three ways of understanding the function of botanic gardens in the present time: as sites of recreation, of conservation or of encounter with nature. Finally I develop the idea that these gardens may serve as archetypes of collaboration with nature. I conclude that, in principle, botanic gardens can model alternative, creative new ways for human beings to relate to the natural environment

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Thomas Heyd
University of Victoria

References found in this work

Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1970 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1):62-63.
Foundations of Environmental Ethics.Eugene C. Hargrove - 1992 - Philosophy East and West 42 (1):175-177.
Simulacra and Simulation.Jean Baudrillard - 1981 - University of Michigan Press.

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