Taking the view that aesthetics is a study grounded in perception, the essays in this volume exhibit many sides of the perceptual complex that is the aesthetic field and develop them in different ways. They reinvigorate our understanding of such arts as music and architecture; they range across the natural landscape to the urban one; they reassess the place of beauty in the modern environment and reassess the significance of the contributions to aesthetic theory of Kant and Dewey; and they broach the kinds of meanings and larger understanding that aesthetic engagement with the human environment can offer. Written over the past decade, these original and innovative essays lead to a fresh encounter with the possibilities of aesthetic experience, one which has constantly evolved, moving in recent years in the direction of what Berleant terms 'social aesthetics', which enhances human-environmental integration and sociality.
'The informal style of Aesthetics beyond the Arts makes it enjoyable to read and its essays contain many rich descriptions on different types of environment … The book should interest a wide range of readers. Not only those wanting a well-informed look at the main issues of environmental aesthetics, but readers who wish to get a glimpse on some of its emerging trends will find interesting reading in this book.' Kalle Puolakka, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study/University of Helsinki 'Berleant’s text does exactly as his title suggests: the cornucopian selection of essays traces his aesthetic thought from its origins in the arts, through the rise of environmental aesthetics, and to his current preoccupation with the ethical obligations of aesthetic theory. While the text does not break new ground for Berleant, a better introduction to his work would be difficult to find'. The British Journal of Aesthetics
Contents: Preface: towards an aesthetics beyond art; Part I The Arts as Experience: Judging architecture; What titles don't tell; What music isn't and how to teach it. Part II Environmental Aesthetics: Art, nature, environment; The re-shaping of experience; Two ways in the landscape; Scenic beauty in a global context; Forestry aesthetics: forest management as landscape architecture; Distant cities: thoughts on an aesthetics of urbanism; Ideas for an ecological aesthetics; Nature and habitation in a Chinese garden. Part III Implications: Aesthetics without purpose; The legacy of Dewey's aesthetics; Evolutionary naturalism and the abandonment of dualism; The aesthetic politics of environment; The changing meaning of landscape; Beauty and the way of modern life; Index.