Environmental Philosophy

Volume 4, Issue 1/2, Spring/Fall 2007

Special Double Issue: Environmental Aesthetics and Ecological Restoration

Allen Carlson
Pages 1-13

The Requirements for An Adequate Aesthetics of Nature

This essay presents a methodological framework for assessing the adequacy of philosophical accounts of the aesthetic appreciation of nature. The framework involves five requirements, each of which is labeled after a philosopher who has defended it. They are called Ziff's Anything Viewed Doctrine, Budd's As Nature Constraint, Berleant's Unified Aesthetics Requirement, Hepburn's Serious Beauty Intuition, and Thompson's Objectivity Desideratum. The conclusion of the essay is that most contemporary treatments of the aesthetics of nature fail to comply with one or more of these requirements and that only Scientific Cognitivism satisfies the framework consisting of all five.