Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art, Allen Carlson shows how much of our aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature, in our response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from our window.
He argues that knowledge of what it is we are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience and that scientific understanding of nature can enhance our appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it.
'A model of clarity and fairmindedness; it is exceptionally well-informed; it is wide ranging, covering nearly all the main topics in the aesthetics of nature, and others besides; and it is ambitious, offering answers to all the problems it considers. It is a book that anyone seriously concerned with the aesthetics of the environment must come to terms with.' - Mind
'I found much stimulating discussion in these pages. [Carlson] is a worthy opponent for those wedded to a more Kantian or historicist approach to natural beauty.' - British Journal of Aesthetics
'Aesthetics and the Environment … is well worth reading.'