The aesthetics of everyday life, originally developed by Henri Lefebvre and other modernist theorists, is an extension of traditional aesthetics, usually confined to works of art. It is not limited to the study of humble objects but is rather concerned with all of the undeniably aesthetic experiences that arise when one contemplates objects or performs acts that are outside the traditional realm of aesthetics. It is concerned with the nature of the relationship between subject and object.
One significant aspect of everyday aesthetics is environmental aesthetics, whether constructed, as a building, or manipulated, as a landscape. Others, also discussed in the book, include sport, weather, smell and taste, and food.
The aesthetics of everyday life has become a stream of thought with a global ambition. This interest has led to numerous systematic and in-depth works on this topic, some of which were conducted by the authors represented in this volume. A salient feature of this book is that it not only represents the recent developments of the aesthetics of everyday life in the West, but also highlights the interaction between scholars in the West and the East on this topic. Thus, the project is a contribution toward mutual progress in the collaboration between Western and Eastern aesthetics. What distinguishes this book from other anthologies and monographs on this topic is that it reconstructs the aesthetics of everyday life through cultural dialogue between the West and the East, with a view to building a new form of aesthetics of everyday life, as seen from a global perspective.
At present, the aesthetics of everyday life as a newly emergent approach to aesthetics may encounter skepticism among aestheticians accustomed to the rigors of analytic philosophers who prefer to discuss aesthetics at the level of abstract concepts and argument, and who tolerate the particulars of experience mainly as illustrations. But, there is no reason to abandon the pursuit of the aesthetics of everyday life in the face of such objections. On the contrary, there are many benefits to gain in bringing aesthetics to bear on a wider sphere of human life, made possible through efforts to show the relevance of aesthetics to a broader range of human actions.
Natural Beauty presents a bold new philosophical account of the principles involved in making aesthetic judgments about natural objects. It surveys historical and modern accounts of natural beauty and weaves elements derived from those accounts into a “syncretic theory” that centers on key features of aesthetic experience—specifically, features that sustain and reward attention. In this way, Moore’s theory sets itself apart from both the purely cognitive and the purely emotive approaches that have dominated natural aesthetics until now. Natural Beauty shows why aesthetic appreciation of works of art and aesthetic appreciation of nature can be mutually reinforcing; that is, how they are cooperative rather than rival enterprises. Moore also makes a compelling case for how and why the experience of natural beauty can contribute to the larger project of living a good life.