Aesthetics in practice: valuing the natural world

Brady, B., 2005, Aesthetics in practice: valuing the natural world, Philosophy Department, College of Charleston

  • Author : Brady, B.
  • Year : 2005
  • Pages : 13
  • Publisher : Philosophy Department, College of Charleston
  • Outline in English : OUTLINE: Aesthetic aspects are involved or embedded in our relationships with nature/urbangreening. It may support moral value, and underpin ecological values or qualities such as variety, biodiversity diversity. instrumental in so far as it contributes to the restorative benefits of spending time in natural places. Aesthetic value is often considered less important, even trivial, compared to other more ‘serious’ environmental values. A reason is certainly the common sense view that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. This kind of argument is especially important in environmental aesthetics; if it can be shown that Aesthetic value is objective, then this type of value is more likely to be given a voice in environmental debates. It is the perception of aesthetic value as subjective preference that has lead to its weak voice in these debates. Values which are underpinned by scientific or quantitative support, values which are assumed to be objective, are more commonly taken seriously. An unfortunate result of identifying Aesthetic judgments with subjective preferences is that, for example, a community’s Aesthetic experience of an urban green space will be left out of the equation. Aesthetic judgments have an intersubjective grounding, and that through aesthetic communication, we share aesthetic experiences, sort out reasons for disagreement and may arrive at agreement in Aesthetic matters, even if disputes remain. Some benefits of wild and cultivated nature for human well-being are often base on aesthetic. Leisure activities such as gardening and just spending time outdoors engage us more intimately, more concretely, with environment, and Aesthetic experience lies at the heart of these experiences. Qualities such as tranquillity and beauty are appreciated for themselves but also for their relaxing and emotionally uplifting effects. These are strong reasons to protect both wild and other green spaces, and some conservationists are already using these reasons to argue for new management policies.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: nature, environment, aesthetics.