By Allen Carlson
Conventional aesthetics is usually linked to the appreciation of artwork, yet Allen Carlson indicates how a lot of
our aesthetic adventure doesn't surround artwork yet nature--in our reaction to sunsets, mountains, horizons or extra mundane atmosphere.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture
This requires the reduction of the environment to a scene or view. But the environment is not a scene, not a representation, not static, and not two-dimensional. The point is that the mode of appreciation of the scenery cult requires the appreciation of the environment not as what it is and with the qualities it has, but as something which it is not and with qualities it does not have. Consequently, when focused on the natural environment, the scenery cult provides a mode of appreciation that is inappropriate to the actual AESTHETICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT 35 nature of the object of appreciation.
Bell’s development of the theory is especially helpful in attempting to understand Twain’s point of view. ”4 Thus, Bell’s account of aesthetic experience is essentially like that of Twain in that the experience is constituted by a heightened emotional state evoked by the formal aspects of objects. ”5 And although Bell takes the experience of art to be the paradigm of this kind of formalist aesthetic experience, he also, like Twain, conceives of the aesthetic appreciation of nature in similar terms.
For a more general examination of formalism, formal qualities, and appreciation of nature, see “Formal Qualities in the Natural Environment,” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 1979, vol. 13, pp. 99–114 (reproduced in this volume, Chapter 3). I also discuss these issues in “On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty,” Landscape Planning, 1977, vol. 4, pp. 131–72. 3 Bell, op. 17. 17. , p. 30. , p. 45. , p. 28. , p. 27. , p. 27. 10 Twain, op. , p. 94. 11 Archibald Alison, Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste , Third Edition, Edinburgh, Archibald Constable and Company, 1812, vol.
Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture by Allen Carlson