Nature, Disorder, and Tragedy

Environmental Philosophy 12 (1):45-66 (2015)

Abstract
This paper outlines a normative/philosophical theory of evolutionary aesthetics, one that differs substantially from existing explanatory/psychological theories, such as Dutton’s. This evolutionary theory is based on Carlson’s scientific cognitivism, but differs in that it is based on evolutionary rather than ecological theory. After offering a short account of Carlson’s theory, I distinguish it from a normative evolutionary aesthetics. I then explore an historically important normative/philosophical theory of the aesthetics of nature that is consistent with Darwin’s theory of natural selection; namely, the theory of the picturesque. Finally, after summarizing Nietzsche’s early theory of tragedy, I discuss how some of his ideas might be incorporated into an evolutionary aesthetics
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1718-0198  
DOI 10.5840/envirophil20153319
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