‡ The term µaesthetic¶ was coined by Alexander Baumgarten (1714-1762) in 1750. ‡ It comes from Greek word aesth tikos meaning µsense perception.¶
‡ After Kant (1724-1804) in the 18th century, aesthetics is one of traditional five main branches of philosophy - with logic, epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. Kant¶s Critique of Judgment is published in 1790.

‡ Aesthetics and the philosophy of art are treated as the same thing by some philosophers, and as different by others. ‡ Aesthetics is traditionally concerned with the investigation of the kinds of object which produce aesthetic experience. ‡ These kinds of object include at least certain artworks and certain parts of nature.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF OBJECT CAN PRODUCE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE ‡ Works of art such as paintings, sculpture, architecture, literature, poetry, drama, music, film, dance, etc. ‡ Natural objects such as the Grand Canyon, waterfalls, cliffs, trees, mountains, fields of wheat, etc. ‡ Thus, not all aesthetic objects are works of art.

this is a shift from object to subject . ‡ It is an analysis of beauty based not on objects of perception.AESTHETICS AND SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS ‡ According to Baumgarten. but on the perception of objects. ‡ As Marcia Eaton points out. .to what people experience when experiencing an object aesthetically. µaesthetics¶ designates a special area of philosophical investigation.

‡ The class of beautiful objects.NATURE. ‡ Not all artworks are aesthetic objects . AND AESTHETIC OBJECTS ‡ Not all aspects of nature are beautiful or aesthetic. .at least not if µaesthetic¶ means µbeautiful¶ in the traditional sense. and the class of artworks overlap in the class of beautiful or aesthetic artworks. ARTWORKS.

and if not why not? If not. How many kinds of beauty are there? On what would any assessment of beauty depend? . then do they then have some value which is not aesthetic? Beautiful objects.ARTWORKS AND BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS Beautiful artworks. Are there any? If so. why. then what sense of µbeauty¶ are we using? If so. Is the beauty of any artwork perceptual? If not. must it still rest on a perceptual object? Artworks which are not beautiful.

‡ Can beauty be defined? According to Aquinas: ³Beauty is that which pleases in the very apprehension of it. and beauty. philosophy is concerned with truth. the form of beauty. ‡ Wittgenstein said that beautiful things do not have a single thing in common. Plato. but have overlapping similarities. ‡ What kinds of thing can or cannot be beautiful? Can anything be prohibited a priori from being beautiful? . ‡ The question what is beauty? goes back to the Greeks: Socrates.BEAUTY AND PHILOSOPHY ‡ In a broad sense.´ ‡ Socrates/Plato thought that beautiful things all have the same thing in common. goodness.

NATURE.ARTWORKS. AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE A Norwegian Fjord ‡ Is aesthetic experience of art the same as the aesthetic experience of nature? ‡ Do we experience art aesthetically through nature. or nature through art? ‡ Is aesthetic experience of different arts the same? Landscape. Chaim Soutine .

THE MIND.´ ‡ There is no a priori reason why the value of an artwork could not be intellectual in addition to being perceptual. If intellectual objects can be thought beautiful.AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE.´ ‡ Paul Dirac: ³It is more important to have beauty in one¶s equations than to have them fit experiment. or is there such a thing as aesthetic experience which is intellectual? ‡ Albert Einstein on the general theory of relativity: ³It is too beautiful not to be true. or even intellectual rather than perceptual. then doesn¶t the experience which results from the apprehension of such objects deserve to be called µaesthetic?¶ . AND THE SENSES ‡ Is all aesthetic experience addressed to or dependent on the senses.

that artworks are experienced as beautiful objects. or should we give that designation a wider latitude? . or are some kinds of experience aesthetic which are not the experience of beauty? ‡ Does an object have to provide for the possibility of aesthetic experience in any sense of the term µaesthetic¶ before it can be considered a work of art? ‡ If so.BEAUTY AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE ‡ Does aesthetic experience mean only the experience of beauty. must the aesthetic experience be of the traditional kind. and/or provoke a kind of emotion to which the term µaesthetic¶ may apply? ‡ Do we mean by ³a work of art´ only one which has or could enter art history. that is.

. AESTHETICS. as the arts change. or ‡ b) Any property or properties in virtue of which an artwork has artistic value which is not a property which is thought to be valuable in the traditional sense of artistic value deserves to be called µaesthetic¶ in virtue of having that value. and yet have artistic value. then either: ‡ a) Some artworks can be valuable for other than aesthetic reasons. so can the notions of the µaesthetic¶ and µaesthetic experience¶ change in virtue of new art forms creating new kinds of property of value to experience.ARTWORKS. then. ‡ If the latter is the case. AND VALUE ‡ If not all artworks provide aesthetic experience in the traditional sense.

BEAUTY AND EXPERIENCE ‡ Experience is indispensable in aesthetics. the auditory beauty of something which it is not possible to hear. How could we speak of the visual beauty of an object if it is not possible to see it. . ‡ It is unintelligible to speak of the beauty of something if it is not possible for beings who are capable of experience to experience or be aware of its beauty. and you take away any meaning which theµbeauty¶ of that object can have. or the intellectual beauty of something which it is not possible to apprehend? ‡ Take away all possible experience of an object.

ARTWORKS AND SUBJECTS ‡ Artworks are related to subjects in two ways: ‡ a) An artwork presupposes an artist who conceived of and intentionally produced it. ‡ b) An artwork presupposes the possible experience of subjects to whom it is intentionally directed. .

AND MINDS ‡ Both µart¶ and µbeauty¶ are concepts tied to minds or consciousness: no minds no beauty/no minds no art.ART. but it is meaningless to call them art apart from a possible relation to a mind which can experience them as art. BEAUTY. . but it is meaningless to call them beautiful apart from a possible relation to a mind which can experience them as beautiful. ‡ Objects may exist apart from minds. ‡ Objects may exist apart from minds.

and viewers act as conscious agents in experiencing art. . ‡ Artists act as conscious agents in making art. ARTISTS. AND AUDIENCES ‡ Artworks presuppose artists who produce them.ARTWORKS. ‡ Essential properties of making and apprehending works of art are consciousness and agency. and audiences which can be aware of them.

ARTWORKS AND ARTISTS ‡ An artist must be conscious of the intent to do something which she means to be understood to be a work of art. . ‡ And her intention must end in the production of something which she means to be understood to be a particular work of art. ‡ This understanding is something of which she is conscious.

with a certain degree of critical attention. ‡ An object so meant is one of which a viewer can choose to be aware. ‡ In choosing to be aware of an artwork. Therefore. and for a certain length of time.ARTWORKS AND AUDIENCES ‡ An object meant to be understood to be a work of art is one of which it must be possible for someone to be aware as art. a viewer chooses to attend to it from a certain angle and distance. . a subject is related both consciously and agentially to any artwork to which he is attending.

BEAUTY AND OBJECTS I ‡ Beauty depends on natural and/or artificial objects in addition to subjects. depends on properties of the object in virtue of which it can be experienced in either way. or as beautiful. ‡ To experience something aesthetically. . ‡ Experience of beauty has to be experience of something and that means an object.

the property in virtue of which an object is found to be beautiful or aesthetic is a relational property ± it is a property of the object. the object must be related to a subject who can experience the property in virtue of which the object is said to be beautiful. since the beauty of an object depends as well on a subject who can experience the beauty. . but one which depends on something in addition to the object.BEAUTY AND OBJECTS II ‡ However. ‡ In this case.

Aesthetic experience is experience of some thing as aesthetic. mind¶s directedness towards an object. we are conscious of some thing as beautiful.INTENTIONALITY. experience of beauty is Intentional. BEAUTY AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Since experience of beauty is experience of something as beautiful. Those states of mind which are about or represent things are Intentional. When we are conscious of beauty. consciousness cannot lack an object. Franz Brentano said that consciousness is always consciousness of something. Aesthetic experience is Intentional. Intentionality = df. .

since all experience of art presupposes objects which the experiences concern. ‡ Consciousness is directed in the experience of an artwork to an object with which the artwork is meant to be identified. ‡ All experience of art is Intentional.INTENTIONALITY AND WORKS OF ART ‡ An artwork is an object of which we must be able to be conscious as an artwork. .

and feeling. ‡ Properties of both the subject and the object come together in the experience of natural beauty. thought. . ‡ Properties of the subject include sense perception. ‡ Properties of the object are its perceived properties sense data such as colors and shapes.NATURAL BEAUTY AND SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS ‡ Experience of natural beauty depends on properties of a subject and properties of an object.

Thus there is no artwork a apart from both o and s. of agency. ‡ A subject s who is aware of o has the properties of perceptual and mental apprehension. ‡ An object o meant to be an artwork has apprehensible properties determined by the artist who has produced it.ARTWORKS AND SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS ‡ Artworks depend on and are directed to experience. The experience of art depends both on properties of an object and properties of a subject. and has the capacity to respond to things aesthetically. ‡ Together o and s combine in the experience of an artwork a. .


HEGEL¶S THESES ABOUT ARTWORKS ‡ People produce artworks.´ . ‡ Artworks are ³delivered from a sensuous medium.´ ‡ Artworks are addressed to the senses. ‡ Artworks are created by people for people. they are not natural objects. ‡ An artwork ³contains an end bound up with it.

‡ In the other sense µintentional¶ concerns agency or deliberate action. or is about an object. ‡ An action is intentional when it is deliberate. . is directed to. ‡ Or that an event of awareness is Intentional means that it has. µIntentional¶ concerns apprehension or consciousness. ‡ That mind is Intentional means that it is directed towards objects when conscious. ‡ In one sense.THE ARTIST AND TWO SENSES OF µINTENTIONAL¶ I ‡ µIntentional¶ can concern a subject¶s relation to an object in two senses.

‡ An artwork is an Intentional object as it is an object of consciousness.THE ARTIST AND TWO SENSES OF µINTENTIONAL¶ II ‡ An artist is I/intentionally related to an artwork she makes in two senses: ‡ a) She is aware of [attending to. Intentionally related to] the object on which she is purposely working. . An artwork is the product of an intentional event when it is something which the artist who is responsible for it meant to produce ± it results from a deliberate action. ‡ b) She is purposely working on [intentionally acting to produce or alter in a satisfying way] an object of which she is aware [attending to].

THE OBSERVER AND TWO SENSES OF µINTENTIONAL¶ ‡ An observer is I/intentionally related to an artwork he observes in two senses: ‡ a) He is aware of [attending to. ‡ b) He decides to attend to an object [the attention is the result of an intention to attend] of which he is aware [attending to]. Intentionally related to] an object to which he has decided to attend. .

nature is inferior to art. and does so with ³greater purity and clarity´ than nature. ‡ Art reflects interests vital to man more than does nature.´ as art has. ‡ Because nature has not ³passed through the mind.HEGEL AND ART AND NATURE ‡ A work of art differs from nature in being a creation of a human mind. .

ART. Artworks are products of human creative actions. ‡ For Dewey.JOHN DEWEY. all artworks are artifacts. Natural objects are not artifacts. ‡ Artifacts are objects intentionally produced by human beings. so natural objects cannot be works of art. (1859-1952) . AND NATURE ‡ Artworks depend on artists who are responsible for producing them.

´ ‡ Hegel: ³Feeling is the undefined obscure region of spiritual [mental] life.ART. art is produced for sense perception. SENSE PERCEPTION. ‡ Hegel: ³The function of fine art is to arouse feeling. ‡ Hence an artist is restricted by the nature of the medium in which he works. AND FEELING ‡ For Hegel.´ .

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ART AND FEELING ‡ Can art communicate feeling as language can communicate thought? ‡ Can an artist reproduce a feeling or complex of feelings she has in a medium? ‡ Or can an artist only manipulate a medium that can/will produce feeling as a result of that manipulation? ‡ In the first case. the artist has no feeling prior to beginning the work. . ‡ In the second case. the artist has a feeling prior to beginning the work which she wants to communicate through work. but is able to manipulate the medium to produce feeling.

the point of art cannot be imitation since art can only imitate nature imperfectly. ‡ The point of art is to bring something to consciousness which is not found in nature. ‡ The power of the artist is the power of creation.HEGEL AND THE POINT OF ART ‡ For Hegel. ‡ Hegel: the function of art is ³to reveal truth under the mode of art¶s sensuous or material configuration.´ . not imitation.

. ART. ± A material or natural counterpart of a painting of a sunset would be a sunset in nature. and we would judge the beauty or aesthetic success of the painting in terms of its resemblance to such a material counterpart which we find beautiful. AND THE AESTHETIC I ‡ One must have a concept of µart¶ or µartwork¶ in order to appreciate some works of art.DANTO. ‡ This is because not all works of art have ³material counterparts´ which are beautiful.

appreciation of artworks which lack material counterparts depends on them being ³perceived first as artworks.DANTO.´ and so appreciation of such objects presupposes that we have a concept of art in addition to a notion of material or natural beauty. . ART. AND THE AESTHETIC II ‡ Because it is false that all artworks which we find beautiful or aesthetically successful have material counterparts which we find beautiful.

´ ‡ This indicates that we must learn how to appreciate artworks which lack aesthetic material counterparts. . AND THE AESTHETIC III ‡ ³[T]hough there may be an innate aesthetic sense. the cognitive apparatus required for it to come into play cannot itself be considered innate.DANTO. that taste in art can be educated. and that it does not simply copy nature. ART.

for Pollock.¶ where ³the artist uses the canvas as an arena´ for creative exploration.´ . was a route to the unconscious mind.PAINT AS PAINT ‡ Here Jackson Pollock is engaged in what Harold Rosenberg termed µaction painting. Two major concerns here are with seeing the physical act of painting as a ³basic artistic action. and with ³the physicality of paint itself.´ so that ³paint was the subject.´ which.


but one need not represent in painting. Thus paint becomes the subject of an AE painting. Painting as painting then becomes fundamental.´ it is no longer disguised in favor of some subject matter.´ One must paint to represent something visually. and is not meant to represent or to refer to something beyond itself.DANTO ON ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (AE) ‡ AE is concerned with ³the physicality of paint itself. ‡ AE focused on the act of painting itself as ³the most basic artistic action. . ‡ Danto calls this a ³metaphysics of basics´ in that only the fundamentals matter.

Willem de Kooning .




paint is allowed to have a life of its own.THE DRIP I ‡ According to Danto. whereas it had been made inconspicuous in traditional painting. . and it illustrates how. paint is made conspicuous. the drip best represents the concerns of AE with recording the action of painting and paint as paint. in AE. In AE.

the necessity and legitimacy of a literary aesthetic need not be presupposed. and AE¶s defeat of such an aesthetic may be part of its artistic strength. the artist had nothing of his own to say. since. spontaneity. in AE. the artist ³merely executed the will of the paint to be itself. in AE.´ ³[T]he drip is . ³it could almost be supposed that the function of painting was to provide an occasion for drips. . .´ JS: Notice how the presupposition here is that art must be at least quasi-literary or representational in having something to say.´ Danto says that.THE DRIP II Danto: ³Drips . However. of pure speed and passion. giving the paint its own life . . . evidence of the urgency of the painting act. . .´ and. Are monuments to accident. .

THE DRIP III Danto: ³A drip is a violation of artistic will and has no possibility of a representational function .´ JS: Whereas it is true that. the drip is employed in a non-representational manner. . . in traditional AE. that is not the case with these paintings by Pat Steir. since she has used her knowledge of paint and skill as a painter intentionally to employ the drip in a representative capacity to suggest waterfalls and falling water. .

and how it is shown. . and because of the association of print with the media in which the arts are criticized.´ Thus there is a kind of incompatibility here between what is shown. . ³the brushstrokes do not consist . That would suggest in turn an ironic comment on the conscious retreat from language which characterized AE.LICHTENSTEIN¶S PAINTINGS OF AE TYPE PAINTINGS I ‡ Lichtenstein¶s paintings of brushstrokes and drips do not have the properties of brushstrokes and drips. For instance. of brushstrokes. that graphic quality would suggest a kind of critical commentary on the subject matter represented which is possible to conduct in paint. ‡ ‡ . Danto says that these strokes seem almost printed rather than painted.

In addition.LICHTENSTEIN¶S PAINTINGS OF AE TYPE PAINTINGS II ‡ Danto says that. Lichtenstein makes them inconsistent with what they picture.´ . by imprisoning the brushstrokes in heavy black outlines. the paint of AE results from ³an impulsive gesture´ whereas the painting of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein is calculated and ³is shown almost mechanically.

namely as something to put into works of art.´ .LICHTENSTEIN¶S PAINTINGS OF AE TYPE PAINTINGS III ‡ Danto: ³The brushstrokes of [AE] were not meant to represent anything. simply to be: fresh created realities. And Lichtenstein has treated them as artists have always treated reality.

in that it encodes the manner in which we perceive the major events of our time through the wire-service photograph and the television screen .´ . . . . .LICHTENSTEIN AND THE BEN DAY DOT I Danto: ³[T]he Ben Day dot has a profound symbolism .´ And the use of the dots draws attention to the fact that ³our experiences are modulated through the medium.

That means that appreciation of the work is partially dependent on an understanding which an observer of the work brings to observation of the work. One could not properly appreciate or understand Lichtenstein¶s work without understanding the use of Ben Day dots by the media. . and so can reflect on what their use by Lichtenstein might suggest.LICHTENSTEIN AND THE BEN DAY DOT II Danto notes that the use of the dots has artistic importance in terms of people who know about their use in media.



a knowledge of the history of art.DANTO¶S CONCLUSIONS I ‡ ³To see something as art at all [depends on] artistic theory. a world of interpreted things. black paint is just black paint and nothing more.´ ‡ An artist can ³detach objects from the real world and make them part of a different world.´ .´ ‡ Art depends on theories: ³without theories of art. an artworld.

´ ‡ Artworks ³are what they are because [they are] interpreted as they are.´ . inasmuch as nothing is an artwork without an interpretation that constitutes it as such.DANTO¶S CONCLUSIONS II ‡ ³[T]here is an internal connection between the status of an artwork and the language in which artworks are identified as such.

´ An understanding or interpretation of such an externalization depends in turn on conscious beings other than the artist. ‡ ‡ . since an interpretation presupposes a being who can interpret. and so once again this serves to emphasize an artwork¶s dependence on and relation to a mind. This is in line with Baumgarten¶s shift from object to subject. Danto suggests that we view a work of art as ³an externalization of the artist¶s consciousness.REMARKS ON DANTO¶S CONCLUSIONS ‡ That all artworks depend on interpretations to be works of art underlines the relation of the object to the subject. and so we have the relation of art to consciousness here in a double sense: artist and audience. and understandings are properties of minds/brains. Danto also emphasizes that proper appreciation of a work depends on a level of understanding which an observer brings to the work.

because of its richness and diversity. ³what and how to select. of what and how to compose. to be appreciated. as Carlson puts it.THE CENTRAL PROBLEM OF THE AESTHETICS OF NATURE ‡ Santayana: The natural landscape is diverse and indeterminate. and group. Accordingly. to achieve appropriate appreciation. emphasize.´ Yet. we have great flexibility in choosing to what to attend and how to attend to what is singled out for aesthetic attention in nature.´ . the question becomes one of. ‡ According to Santayana. the natural landscape ³must be composed.

and group when we attend to an artwork such as a painting of a landscape rather than the natural landscape itself.´ . We know what to appreciate in that we know the difference between a work and that which is not it nor a part of it and between its aesthetically relevant qualities and those without such relevance.AESTHETIC APPRECIATION OF ARTWORKS I ‡ Carlson: We don¶t have the problem of what and how to select. emphasize. ‡ Carlson: ³With traditional works of art we typically know both the what and the how of appropriate aesthetic appreciation.

its purposes. and what to do with it. ‡ We know what and how to appreciate artworks because they are created by us. .´ ‡ However. ³In making an object we know what we make and thus its parts.AESTHETIC APPRECIATION OF ARTWORKS II ‡ Carlson: ³We know how to appreciate works of art in that we know the modes of appreciation that are appropriate for different kinds of works´ ± that we look at a painting and listen to a string quartet in order to appreciate them. nature is not created by us. and so we do not have this causal connection to nature which facilitates appreciation which we have with works of art.

observe. examine.ACTS OFASPECTION ‡ Paul Ziff¶s notion of aspection relates observers of art to works of art. ³are appropriate for works of different types: to contemplate a painting is to perform one act of aspection. and notes that different ways of attending to the object. survey. and hence what kinds of acts of aspection are appropriate to appreciation of the work. or different acts of aspection. to study. to scan it is to perform another. Carlson notes that. inspect. in understanding under which classification a work or art falls ± sculpture or opera for instance ± we know what and how to appreciate the work appropriately. scrutinize.´ or ways of attending to the object. ‡ . are still other acts of aspection.

and so can contemplate it from that location.´ ± For instance. but you must walk around and view a sculpture from several points in space. paintings and sculptures have different kinds of boundary and demand different kinds of attention: you can typically take in all of painting from a single position in space. ‡ Different kinds of boundary and areas of attention will ³demand different acts of aspection. and so are required to survey and inspect it from a variety of locations and in which its parts are surveyed and inspected sequentially rather than simultaneously. .ASPECTION AND BOUNDARIES ‡ Different kinds of artwork have different kinds of boundary ± where the work ends and that which is not the work begins ± and so can have different centers or areas of focus.

How do we establish limits within which we can appreciate parts of nature? On what are we to focus and what should we ignore? What are the right ways to appreciate nature. ³what are the grounds on which we can justifiably base answers to such questions?´ .ART AND NATURE ‡ We know how to appreciate art because art is our creation. but. and the question is how to appreciate the nature of nature ± its size and complexity. we still have the problem of what and how to appreciate nature. as nature is not our creation. or which acts of aspection or ways of attending to it are the correct ones? ‡ Finally. ‡ We live in as we form part of nature.

THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL (OAM) OF NATURE ‡ In OAM we appreciate nature in the way in which we appreciate works of art. In Brancusi¶s Bird in Space (1919) we attend to ³sensuous and design qualities and certain abstract expressive qualities.´ An artwork like this is consciously isolated from its surroundings so that we can attend to the object itself and its artistic properties. .

1. In the object appreciation model of nature (OAM) we ³actually or imaginatively remove the object from its surroundings and dwell on its sensuous and possible expressive qualities. We might attempt to judge the aesthetic quality of a rock. in OAM we appreciate natural objects as we appreciate art objects.NATURE AND THE OAM 2. Thus. by attending to its perceptual features as we would attend to the corresponding features of a sculpture.´ . and hence attend to them in isolation from their natural environment. for instance.

they become isolated from their natural environment.PROBLEMS WITH THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL I ‡ Nature is indeterminate. . and so they are no longer being properly appreciated as natural objects. but become like readymades or found art. And when appreciation is directed to natural objects with determinate boundaries ± such as trees or rocks . whereas artworks typically have determinate boundaries ± we know where it ends and thus to what we are to pay attention and to what we are to ignore.

But then they are being treated like artworks. When natural objects are treated as readymade natural objects. and not as the natural objects which they are.PROBLEMS WITH THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL II ‡ Duchamp produced his readymades by a simple selection of a preexistent object which is exhibited within a fine art context and so is made to be understood to be a work of art by him. ‡ . they are selected for appreciation by isolating them from the environment in which they naturally occur.

Thus. where a natural object is seen will affect how it is seen.´ we do not have to treat an object like a rock or a branch as a readymade sculpture.´ ‡ However. . but can merely attend to it ³as an aesthetically pleasing object. But ³natural objects are a part of and have been formed within their environments. OAM is still defective since it involves actually or imaginatively removing a natural object from its natural environment. thus to view them in their natural environments is ³aesthetically relevant´ to proper appreciation of the object.PROBLEMS WITH THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL III ‡ Carlson: ³OAM does not have to treat natural objects as art objects.

such as great size. . It is expressive of the forces that shaped and continue to shape it.PROBLEMS WITH THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL IV ‡ ‡ A natural object like a rock has ³connections between it and its environment. which it does not have in relation to other objects in its natural environment. it may take on qualities when exhibited in a non-natural context. In addition.´ And it may not express these forces if taken from that environment.

then OAM tells us what and how to appreciate the object. but it ³results in appreciation of a limited set of aesthetic qualities. .PROBLEMS WITH THE OBJECT APPRECIATION MODEL V ‡ If a natural object is actually or imaginatively removed from its environment. then OAM does not tell us how to appreciate the object.´ ‡ However. if the object is not actually or imaginatively removed.

And we are to attend to ³scenic qualities of line. and design. .´ such qualities as we would attend to in a landscape painting or photograph. nature is to be appreciated as if it were a landscape painting. As such. color. we are supposed to attend to it ³from a specific position and distance´ in space.THE LANDSCAPE OR SCENERY MODEL (LSM) I ‡ In LSM.

especially landscape painting.THE LANDSCAPE OR SCENERY MODEL (LSM) II ‡ In LSM ³the natural world is divided into scenes. each aiming at an ideal dictated by art. to appreciate them from the proper distance and perspective. . ‡ In scenic viewpoints we place ourselves in relation to nature as we locate ourselves in art museums in relation to landscape paintings.

‡ Carlson also says that the model has aesthetic problems since it views nature as static and essentially two-dimensional.´ This invites abuse of environments not deemed to be aesthetic. .PROBLEMS FOR THE LANDSCAPE OR SCENERY MODEL I ‡ Some ecologists find LSM to be ethically wrong since it tends to suggest that. and nature is neither of these things. ³nature exists to please us as well as to serve us. as Rees puts it.

and so takes us away from appreciation of nature as nature. it ³unduly limits appreciation´ of nature to qualities found in landscape painting.´ ‡ Accordingly. but as something it is not and with qualities it does not have. .PROBLEMS FOR THE LANDSCAPE OR SCENERY MODEL II ‡ Carlson says that LSM requires that we appreciate nature not as what it is ³with the qualities it has.

THE HUMAN CHAUVINISTIC AESTHETIC (HCA) ‡ According to HCA. nature cannot be aesthetically appreciated at all. constitute paradigm cases of aesthetic appreciation. This is because aesthetic appreciation ³involves aesthetic evaluation.´ . .´ Since nature is not a human creation we cannot appreciate it aesthetically. . ‡ Problems: Many thinkers maintain that ³everything is open to aesthetic appreciation. which entails judging the object of appreciation as the achievement of its creator.´ and ³some instances of appreciation of natural things .

THE AESTHETICS OF ENGAGEMENT (AOE) ‡ For Arnold Berleant. But the truth is that we form part of as we interact with nature.´ . both OAM and LSM falsely isolate and distance humans from aesthetic appreciation of nature by viewing nature as objectively separate from subjects. AOE demands recognizing that we are not simply observers of nature. ‡ For AOE proper appreciation of nature comes from a ³total engagement´ with and ³a sensory immersion in the natural world. but that we live in nature as participants. This represents a false subjectobject dichotomy in which nature is viewed as something separate from humanity. For AOE.

It also seems to be unacceptably subjective in its emphasis on the subject¶s engagement with nature. and so µnothing¶ is wrong. HCA gives no answer. ‡ ‡ ‡ . and why this should be preferable to other models of appreciation which are more limited in scope and involvement.´ so AOE may end up rejecting the possibility of aesthetic experience of nature as does HCA. and it is impossible and misguided to attempt to appreciate everything. But we do appreciate nature.PROBLEMS WITH THE AESTHETICS OF ENGAGEMENT ‡ Carlson: ³Some degree of the subject/object dichotomy seems integral to the very nature of aesthetic appreciation. and one can ask AOE what µtotal immersion¶ in nature means. For Carlson. As to how. For HCA the answer to what is nothing. neither HCA nor AOE tell us what or how to appreciate nature. and for AOE it is everything.

´ ‡ It recognizes that nature and art are different. and. ‡ This is the view defended by Carlson. at the same time that it takes appreciation of art as a model for appreciation of nature.THE NATURAL ENVIROMENTAL MODEL (NEM) I ‡ NEM stresses that ³the natural environment is both natural and an environment. Thus both ³common sense and scientific knowledge´ of nature can aid in our appreciation of it. . ³natural and environmental science´ is the key to appreciating nature aesthetically. ³making such adjustments as are necessary´ in view of nature¶s difference from art. for him.

´ . just as knowledge of art helps us better to appreciate art. . .THE NATURAL ENVIROMENTAL MODEL (NEM) II ‡ For Carlson. so knowledge of nature can help us to appreciate nature more thoroughly.´ ‡ A consummatory experience is ³one in which knowledge and intelligence transform raw experience by making it determinate. harmonious. it must become what Dewey calls a consummatory experience. and meaningful. ‡ For nature to be more than ³just raw experience .

but also to that of how to appreciate.THE NATURAL ENVIROMENTAL MODEL (NEM) III ‡ Carlson: ³Common sense and scientific knowledge of natural environments is relevant not only to the question of what to appreciate. and each will be different in turn from appreciating the ocean on a windy day from a rocky coast. .´ ± Thus appreciation of a desert and of a forest will be different.´ ‡ ³Knowledge of [a particular environment] indicates how to appreciate [and] indicates the appropriate act or acts of aspection.

aesthetic appreciation of anything must focus on the object of appreciation. .THE NATURAL ENVIROMENTAL MODEL (NEM) IV ‡ For Carlson. ‡ Also. NEM¶s emphasis on the relevance of knowledge to aesthetics means that other areas of philosophy should become increasingly relevant to philosophical aesthetics. ‡ This is the opposite of Baumgarten¶s emphasis on the subject and his experience as the focus of aesthetics.

are not perceptions of nature as aesthetic also schooled by knowledge of art? That is. and therefore shapes our appreciation of nature as much as they do? ‡ .´ Whereas common and scientific knowledge may constitute part of our appreciation of nature.´ and that ³aesthetic appreciation of nature has scientific underpinnings.QUESTIONS FOR CARLSON I ‡ Carlson says that ³NEM bases aesthetic appreciation [of nature] on a scientific view of what nature is and what and of what qualities it has.´ And he says these things at the same time that he says that ³NEM does not reject the general and traditional structure of aesthetic appreciation of art as a model for aesthetic appreciation of the natural world. does not art serve as more than a model for appreciation. but also provides artistic knowledge which informs our perceptions of nature as much as common and scientific knowledge.

then would this not come into play in perception of such a natural object. each of which is nevertheless aesthetic? ‡ If we have an innate aesthetic sense. but could they not simply be different kinds of appreciation.QUESTIONS FOR CARLSON II ‡ The emphasis for NEM is knowledge. But how much and what kinds of knowledge do we need in order to respond to nature aesthetically? ‡ Granted that a geologist may appreciate the Grand Canyon in ways in which someone else may not for lacking his knowledge. a person¶s level of particular knowledge notwithstanding? .

are very much in the western intellectual tradition. But the view and its assumptions can be questioned.QUESTIONS FOR CARLSON III ‡ NEM and Dewey¶s notion of a consummatory experience. ‡ This is the legacy of the Greeks and should also remind you of Hegel. and meaningful´ is the superiority of thought over feeling and uninformed or non-conceptual experience. and implicit in the notion that ³knowledge and intelligence transform raw experience by making it determinate. . harmonious.

rather than to prove. Is there any general philosophical justification which can be given of this view? .QUESTIONS FOR CARLSON IV ‡ Isn¶t it possible that aesthetic experience of nature does not presuppose the level of knowledge of NEM. But can we make that assumption? ‡ It also seems to be a tacit assumption of the view that knowledge and intelligence are superior to feeling. that that kind of experience is superior aesthetically to uniformed experience of nature. but that that level of knowledge simply provides for a different kind of aesthetic experience? ‡ The view seems simply to assume. or that aesthetic feeling must be based on knowledge.

OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) .

. . and Art is always presenting various forms through which this expression can be attained.´ . . ³Life seizes on them and uses them . . .´ ‡ ³The basis of life .WILDE¶S THESES I ‡ ³Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life . .´ ³Life holds up the mirror to art . . is simply the desire for expression. .

She is our creation. and what we see.´ ‡ ³Things are because we see them.´ ‡ ³Nature follows the landscape painter . It is in our brain that she quickens to life. and takes her effects from him . . .´ . depends on the Arts that have influenced us.WILDE¶S THESES II ‡ ³What is nature? Nature is no great mother who has born us. . and how we see it. .

Then. and only then does it come into existence. but because poets and painters have taught them the mysterious loveliness of such effects." .³ ‡ "To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing. her absolutely unfinished condition." ‡ "People see fogs. her curious crudities. One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.WILDE¶S THESES III ‡ "What art really reveals to us is Nature's lack of design. They did not exist until Art had invented them. There may have been fogs for centuries in London. not because there are fogs. her extraordinary monotony. I dare say there were.

JOHN CONSTABLE (1776-1837) .

J. W. M. TURNER (1775-1851) .

CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) .

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853 ±1890) .

.SEEING NATURE THROUGH AMERICAN ABSTRACTION Jackson Pollock (1912 ±1956) Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) Abstract painting can also affect our perceptions of nature. Couldn¶t it come to look like the Pollock? And might we not read shapes. Think of looking at a shallow depression of water through which you can see a mass of intermingled leaves and sticks. on Wilde¶s thesis. but that perception of these familiar things changes as a result of knowledge of art. that these paintings resemble natural objects and vistas with which we are already familiar. colors. and patterns such as that seen in the Gorky into hilly desert terrain? This does not mean.

‡ ³Art reveals her own perfection . . . art ³never expresses anything but itself.´ Accordingly.WILDE ON ART AND EXPRESSION ‡ For Wilde. or the spirit of its time.´ and does so through a ³vital connection between form and substance. it does not express the moral or social conditions in which it is created.´ . the intellectual temper of its age.

and elevating them into ideals. he would cease to be an artist. the more ideal an art is . If he did. . . must be translated into artistic conventions.´ ‡ Art is about art.´ Hence art must be imaginative. and ³develops purely on her own lines. .´ ‡ ³All bad art comes from returning to Life and Nature. . not imitative. .´ ‡ ³Life and Nature .WILDE ON ART AND REPRESENTATION ‡ Art is not symbolic of any age.´ ‡ ³No great artist ever sees things as they really are. and ³the more abstract.

‡ Donald Crawford says that pure nature is hard to find. Most nature which we experience is shaped or affected in some way by artifacts and/or human labor. ‡ Arnold Berleant: "[T]he environment can no longer be regarded as an external location but as a physico-historical medium of engagement, a dynamic field of forces continuous with human life." ‡ Crawford: The relationship between the natural and the artificial is diverse, and is often aesthetically significant.

‡ Crawford: ³In a dialectical relationship, two terms of a relation designate conflicting forces.³ ‡ It is common that the conflicting forces bring into being a third object. ‡ The bringing into being of a third object comes from the dialectical interaction of conflicting forces.

‡ According to Crawford, ³the relationship between nature and artifact is best called 'dialectical.¶¶ ‡ And the conflicting interaction of nature and artifact may produce an object of aesthetic appreciation. ‡ A dialectical object appreciated would not result except for the interaction of opposing things.

CLASSICAL AND NEOCLASSICAL AESTHETICS ‡ a) Nature is historically the model for art ± artists are told to ³copy nature. .) ‡ Here the aesthetic perception of nature follows from the aesthetic perception of landscape painting. painting is sometimes thought to provide the model for how to respond aesthetically to nature. (Carlson¶s LSM and Wilde. ‡ b) But conversely.´ ‡ And art's composition reflected a harmonious relationship between itself and nature.

EARTHWORKS ‡ Earthworks are a good illustration of a working dialectic between art and nature. . ‡ Such works ³move outside the physical confines and artistic conventions of the gallery.´ ‡ In earthworks. ‡ The dialectical interaction of nature and artifact produces aesthetic experience. The product of this dialectical interaction is the work of art. nature interacts with the physical manipulation of the environment due to artist.

ROBERT SMITHSON (1928-1973) I .




and ‡ b) Ruins have past histories filled with meanings and associations.RUINS AND EARTHWORKS ‡ A ruin is a kind of object which results from the interaction of the natural and the artifactual. . ‡ Ruins differ from earthworks in two important ways: ‡ a) Ruins are aesthetically unintended. and can be an object of aesthetic appreciation.

. This is why it is a dialectical object. but in a combination of two.THE RUIN AS A DIALECTICAL OBJECT I ‡ A ruin does not belong in either the world of nature or the world of artifacts.

THE RUIN AS A DIALECTICAL OBJECT II ‡ Ruins point to both the past and the future. ‡ A ruin is an object in process. ‡ Its exhibition of dialectical interaction is a source of aesthetic appreciation. .

‡ b) The site of the work has associational properties ± just as the site of a ruin has associational properties.CHRISTO (1935. ‡ c) Christo¶s works are ephemeral . they do not last.) ‡ Crawford: Some of Christo's work has important similarities to ruins: ‡ a) Their size is monumental size ± like that of many ruins ± and this increases their expressiveness. .like ruins.

Australia 1968-1969 .CHRISTO I Wrapped Coast. Little Bay.

CHRISTO II Valley Curtain. Rifle. 1970-1972 . Colorado.



California 1972-1976 .CHRISTO VI Running Fence. Sonoma and Marin Counties.

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