Love for Natural Beauty as a Mark of a Good Soul: Kant on the Relation between Aesthetics and Morality

In Ferenc Horcher (ed.), Is a Universal Morality possible? L’Harmattan Publishing. pp. 115-127 (2015)

Authors
Mojca Kuplen
Central European University (PhD)
Abstract
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature” (2003. 39). Th e poet captures nicely an idea, dominant in the contemporary environmental aesthetics, namely, that aesthetic appreciation of nature is intimately connected with the moral nature within us. Many of us have experienced when in contact with nature that its beauty moves us in a way that goes deeper than its initial appeal; it elicits in us a feeling of comfort, hope, a sense of well-being and belonging to the world. My aim in this paper is to propose an explanation of the connection between our aesthetic experience of natural beauty and our moral ideas. I approach this problem in light of Kant’s aesthetic theory put forward in the Critique of the Power of Judgment.
Keywords Kant  beauty  morality
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