New formalism and the aesthetic appreciation of nature

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (4):363–376 (2004)
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Recently, several authors have defended a new version of formalism in the aesthetics of nature and attempted to refute earlier arguments against the doctrine. In this essay, we assess this new formalism by reconsidering the force of antiformalist arguments against both traditional formalism and new formalism. While we find that these arguments remain effective against traditional formalism, new formalism falls largely beyond their scope. We therefore provide a novel line of argument for the insignificance of the formal appreciation of nature. This argument suggests that new formalism is inadequate as a theory of the aesthetics of nature



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