The Aesthetic Value of Animals

Environmental Ethics 29 (2):151-169 (2007)
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Abstract

Although recent work in philosophical aesthetics has brought welcome attention to the beauty of nature, the aesthetic appreciation of animals remains rarely discussed. The existence of this gap in aesthetic theory can be traced to certain ethical difficulties with aesthetically appreciating animals. These difficulties can be avoided by focusing on the aesthetic quality of “looking fit for function.” This approach to animal beauty can be defended against the view that “looking fit” is a non-aesthetic quality and against Edmund Burke’s famous critique of the connection between fitness and the beauty of animals

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Glenn Parsons
Toronto Metropolitan University

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