Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty addresses the complex relationships between aesthetic appreciation and environmental issues and emphasizes the valuable contribution that environmental aesthetics can make to environmentalism. Allen Carlson, a pioneer in environmental aesthetics, and Sheila Lintott, who has published widely in aesthetics, combine important historical essays on the appreciation of nature with the best contemporary research in the field. They begin with classic pieces by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Aldo Leopold, as well as an essay by Eugene Hargrove that lays out the scientific, artistic, and aesthetic foundations of current environmental beliefs and attitudes. The second section of the book addresses prevailing views on the conceptualization of nature and the various debates on how to properly and respectfully appreciate nature. The third section introduces positive aesthetics, the belief that everything in nature is essentially beautiful, even the devastation caused by earthquakes or floods. The essays in the final section explicitly bring together aesthetics, ethics, and environmentalism to explore the ways in which each might affect the others.
Allen Carlson is professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta. He is interested in environmental philosophy and aesthetics, especially aesthetics of nature and landscape. He is coeditor of two collections of essays in these areas and author of Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art, and Architecture.Sheila Lintott is assistant professor of philosophy at Bucknell University. She is especially interested in issues at the intersection of aesthetics and ethics in environmental and feminist philosophy. Her publications have appeared in Environmental Ethics, Hypatia, the British Journal of Aesthetics, and the Journal of Aesthetic Education.