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Hall, Nicole, Brady, Emily. Environmental Virtue Aesthetics
2023, British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (1): 109-126
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Added by: Colin Troesken
Abstract:

How should we characterize the interaction between moral and aesthetic values in the context of
environmental aesthetics? This question is important given the urgency of many environmental
problems and the particular role played by aesthetic value in our experience of environment. To
address this question, we develop a model of Environmental Virtue Aesthetics (EVA) that, we argue,
offers a promising alternative to current theories in environmental aesthetics with respect to the
relationship between aesthetics and ethics. EVA counters environmental aesthetic theories that focus
more narrowly on scientific knowledge and ground aesthetic value in ways that obfuscate pluralistic
modes of appreciation of and relationships with natural and semi-natural environments. To develop
EVA, we work with a revised notion of respect and engage with ideas concerning the development of
aesthetic sensibilities, care, and virtuous aesthetic appreciation. EVA has the potential to support
forms of human-nature co-flourishing, as well as constituting an aesthetic grounding for ecological
citizenship.

Comment: This article presupposes some familiarity with issues in environmental aesthetics, specifically debates concerning the connection between moral and aesthetic value in nature. Students reading this article would also benefit from some degree of acquaintance with virtue theory. In an introductory course on aesthetics, it could be read alongside a more introductory article such as Emily Brady's previous article "Aesthetic Character and Aesthetic Integrity in Environmental Conservation" (2002). The article is also well-suited for an advanced course in aesthetics, especially one which focuses heavily on the aesthetics of nature.

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