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Aesthetics of the Natural Environment

Emily Brady

Paperback i (Printed to Order)

In the first systematic account of aesthetics in relation to the natural environment, Emily Brady provides critical understanding of what aesthetic appreciation of nature involves and develops her own distinctive aesthetic theory. In particular, she develops a theory of aesthetic appreciation which integrates subjective and objective approaches.

Among the topics discussed which bring together philosophical aesthetics and environmental philosophy are:

  • The nature of aesthetic experience
  • Aesthetic value
  • Theories of aesthetic appreciation of nature
  • Art and environment
  • Imagination, emotion and meaning in aesthetic appreciation of nature
  • The justification of aesthetic judgements of nature
  • The intersection between aesthetic and ethical value
  • The role of aesthetics in nature conservation and environmental policy

In providing a thorough account of the literature together with original critical insights this book will be of interest to undergraduates, postgraduates and academics in environmental philosophy and aesthetics as well as those in geography, landscape architecture, art theory and sociology.

Key Features

  • Offers a new approach to the subject
  • Provides a solid grounding in environmental aesthetics
  • Connects with ecological issues, conservation and environmental planning


1. Aesthetic Appreciation
Aesthetic Experience
Aesthetic Qualities
Aesthetic Value
2. Early Theories of Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature
Aesthetic Appreciation before the 18th century
The Beautiful, the Sublime and the Picturesque
Romanticism and After
Towards the Contemporary Debate
3. Culture, Art and Environment
Nature and Culture
Appreciating Art and Natural Environments
Meaning, Interpretation and Cultural Landscapes
4. Contemporary Theories of Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature
The Contemporary Debate
Cognitive Theories
Non-Cognitive Theories
5. The Integrated Aesthetic I: Multi-Sensuous Engagement and Disinterestedness
The Integrated Aesthetic
Multi-Sensuous Engagement
Disinterestedness and Valuing Nature
6. The Integrated Aesthetic II: Imagination, Emotion and Knowledge Imagination
Imagination and Natural Environments
The Communicability of Imagination
Emotion, Expressive Qualities and Nature
Knowledge in the Integrated Aesthetic
7. Aesthetic Judgements of the Natural Environment and Aesthetic Communication
Aesthetic Judgements and Objectivity
Aesthetic Judgements of Nature
Agreement, Disagreement and the Problem of Taste
Aesthetic Communication
Aesthetic Criticism and Environmental Aesthetic Education
8. Aesthetics, Ethics and Environmental Conservation
Aesthetic Value in Environmental Conservation
Landscape Character and the Integrated Aesthetic
Aesthetic Character and Aesthetic Integrity: The Case of the Harris Superquarry
Aesthetics, Ethics and Conservation
Aesthetics and Respect for Nature

About the Author

Emily Brady is Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock Director and Chair of the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research and Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University.


Emily Brady’s timely Aesthetics of the Natural Environment provides a clear and systematic introduction to central topics in environmental aesthetics … An excellent resource for anyone new to the area.
- Environmental Values
Admirably comprehensive coverage of the subject.
- Professor Arnold Berleant, Emeritus Professor, Long Island University, USA

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