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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, Fall 2013

Roger Paden
Pages 1-21

A Defense of the Picturesque

The eighteenth century notion of the “picturesque” has been misunderstood by many contemporary environmental aestheticians. This has contributed both to a misunderstanding of the history of environmental aesthetics and, within the discipline, to a misunderstanding of English garden design. This essay contains a discussion of the term as it appears in environmental aesthetics literature and an examination of the history of the term as used in eighteenth-century garden design literature. This history is used to contest the account of the term as used by contemporary environmental aestheticians and to develop a philosophically more interesting interpretation of it.

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