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ERIC Number: EJ784578
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Aesthetic Implications of the New Paradigm in Ecology
Simus, Jason Boaz
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v42 n1 p63-79 Spr 2008
The new paradigm in ecology emphasizes dynamic change, disturbance, and nonequilibrium in natural systems, and it presents some challenges for contemporary environmental aesthetics, one of which has to do with the thesis known as "scientific cognitivism." Scientific cognitivism holds that appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature must be informed by scientific knowledge. In this article, the author explores the aesthetic implications of this new paradigm, the central implication being that scientific cognitivism, when combined with the new paradigm in ecology, may require updating the qualities associated with positive aesthetics. After reviewing Allen Carlson's defense of both scientific cognitivism and the positive aesthetics thesis, the author shows how the significantly different conceptual framework that the new paradigm in ecology provides will require equally significant adjustments to how people aesthetically appreciate nature. He makes two suggestions. First, the new paradigm in ecology suggests that aesthetic appreciation should focus on natural processes, which will require a more theoretical approach to aesthetic appreciation. Second, because the new paradigm appeals to aesthetic qualities such as imbalance, disorder, and disharmony to make the natural world intelligible, these qualities are consistent with an updated positive aesthetics thesis and should therefore replace the qualities associated with the old paradigm. Collectively, these two suggestions imply that the beauty of nature is dynamic and chaotic rather than stable and orderly. (Contains 54 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A