Theory, Observation, and the Role of Scientific Understanding in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):165-186 (2006)

Authors
Glenn Parsons
Ryerson University
Abstract
Much recent discussion in the aesthetics of nature has focused on Scientific cognitivism, the view that in order to engage in a deep and appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature, one must possess certain kinds of scientific knowledge. The most pressing difficulty faced by this view is an apparent tension between the very notion of aesthetic appreciation and the nature of scientific knowledge. In this essay, I describe this difficulty, trace some of its roots and argue that attempts to dismiss it fail. I then develop a response to the problem, drawing on the notion of the theory-ladenness of observation. I conclude by considering the relationship between this response and one common approach to the problem, the appeal to expressive qualities in nature.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI cjphil20063621
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References found in this work BETA

Observation Reconsidered.Jerry Fodor - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (March):23-43.
Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.

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