Complicating Aesthetic Environmentalism: Four Criticisms of Aesthetic Motivations for Environmental Action

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (4):441-451 (2018)
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Abstract

This article engages in debates about the potential for aesthetics to be a positive, ethical, and moral frame for relating to the environment. Human‐environment relations are increasingly tied up with aesthetics. We problematize this trend by contending that aesthetics is an insufficient paradigm to motivate and shape environmentalism because it exceptionalizes some landscapes while devaluing others. This article uses four illustrative case studies to complicate aesthetic environmentalist frames. These case studies indicate that even when positive aesthetic qualities are deployed in environmentalist advocacy, their usefulness is mitigated by a range of factors including: sensationalization, obfuscation, and further degradation.

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Citations of this work

Global Climate Change and Aesthetics.Emily Brady - 2022 - Environmental Values 31 (1):27-46.
Environmental aesthetics.Allen Carlson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What Is the Monumental?Sandra Shapshay - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2):145-160.

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References found in this work

Aesthetics of the Natural Environment.Emily Brady - 2000 - University of Alabama Press.
Foundations of Environmental Ethics.Eugene C. Hargrove - 1992 - Philosophy East and West 42 (1):175-177.
The Aesthetics of Environment.Arnold Berleant & Stephen Bourassa - 1994 - Environmental Values 3 (2):173-182.
Icebreakers: Environmentalism and Natural Aesthetics.Stan Godlovitch - 1994 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1):15-30.

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