British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (3):279-295 (2002)
AbstractScientific cognitivism is the idea that nature must be aesthetically appreciated in light of scientific information about it. I defend Carlson's traditional formulation of scientific cognitivism from some recent criticisms. However, I also argue that if we employ this formulation it is difficult to uphold two claims that Carlson makes about scientific cognitivism: (i) it is the correct analysis of the notion of appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature, and (ii) it justifies the idea that nature, seen aright, is always beautiful (that is, positive aesthetics about nature). I attempt to find a revised formulation of scientific cognitivism that can support both of these claims. I argue that to do this we must rethink the notion of positive aesthetics and its place in our theorizing about the appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature. Specifically, I propose that positive aesthetics be made ‘internal’ to the theory of appropriate aesthetic appreciation, in the sense that this theory determines the correct scientific categories for appreciating a natural object, in part, in virtue of a ‘beauty-making’ criterion. I argue that this sort of formulation of scientific cognitivism can support both of Carlson's claims and does not compromise the objectivist scruples that motivate the view.
Similar books and articles
A defense of arts-based appreciation of nature.Thomas Leddy - 2005 - Environmental Ethics 27 (3):299-315.
Science, Nature, and Moore's Syncretic Aesthetic.Glenn Parsons - 2009 - Ethics, Place and Environment 12 (3):351-356.
Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2009 - Columbia University Press.
Freedom and objectivity in the aesthetic appreciation of nature.Glenn Parsons - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):17-37.
Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture.Allen Carlson - 1999 - Routledge.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Aesthetic appreciation of landscapes.Jiri Benovsky - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2):325-340.
Aesthetics of Nature, Constitutive Goods, and Environmental Conservation: A Defense of Moderate Formalist Aesthetics.Jennifer Welchman - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (4):419-428.
New formalism and the aesthetic appreciation of nature.Glenn Parsons & Allen Carlson - 2004 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (4):363–376.
Desolation Sound: Social Practices of Natural Beauty.Dominic McIver Lopes - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):266–273.
References found in this work
Nature, aesthetic judgment, and objectivity.Allen Carlson - 1981 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (1):15-27.
Imagination and the aesthetic appreciation of nature.Emily Brady - 1998 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (2):139-147.