Monday, March 3, 2014

Some Student Questions to Allen Carlson on the Aesthetics of Nature

Mica:  "Is it really so wrong to appreciate scenery from nature as scenery, even if it is appreciated as part of its environment."  Carlson attacks the Landscape Scenery Model of aesthetic appreciation of nature.  One should not, on his view, appreciate nature as if it were a series of paintings.  But even if this is true, is it wrong to appreciate scenery as scenery?  Carlson and Malcolm Budd emphasize that one should appreciate art as art, impressionist art as impressionist art, and nature as nature:  why not also scenery as scenery?

Sneha asks "How does Carlson feel about the word 'picturesque' being used for scenic places as a positive adjective rather than as degrading the natural ambiance?  Nature is being appreciated through an artistic point of view, but why is it necessarily a bad thing to think of scenery as being captured in a picture?"  Can the term "picturesque" have no role in environmental aesthetics?  

Wadeaa:  "Wouldn't an artist taking the time to articulate each detail of nature in order to paint it be his way of appreciation it?"  Wadeaa raises an interesting question.  Carlson assumes that nature can only be appreciated from a scientific perspective and that artistic approaches to nature do not encourage appropriate appreciation.  But what if that artistic approach is aimed towards realist portrayal?  Couldn't an artist capture aspects of nature through realistic portrayal that a naturalist would fail to see?


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