On Landscapes: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On Landscapes

1st Edition

By Susan Herrington


150 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415991254
pub: 2008-10-13
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There is no escaping landscape: it's everywhere and part of everyone's life. Landscapes have received much less attention in aesthetics than those arts we can choose to ignore, such as painting or music – but they can tell us a lot about the ethical and aesthetic values of the societies that produce them.

Drawing on examples from a wide range of landscapes from around the world and throughout history, Susan Herrington considers the ways landscapes can affect our emotions, our imaginations, and our understanding of the passage of time. On Landscapes reveals the design work involved in even the most naturalistic of landscapes, and the ways in which contemporary landscapes are turning the challenges of the industrial past into opportunities for the future. Inviting us to thoughtfully see and experience the landscapes that we encounter in our daily lives, On Landscapes demonstrates that art is all around us.


"Herrington deftly and succinctly draws together a vast range of material on landscape from several disciplines. She writes engagingly without oversimplifying; she thinks carefully without losing sight of the lay of the land. Both lay readers and professionals will come away from this small gem looking at and living in the landscape in new ways."

–Bruce Janz, University of Central Florida, USA

"[Herrington's] focus on contemporary landscapes is a fresh approach that is commendable in its scope as well as being rich, informative and accessibly written. While it draws on diverse philosophical perspectives it also draws on an impressive range of interdisciplinary sources. On Landscapes is an indispensable starting point for anyone who wants to think seriously about landscapes."

-Environmental Values

Table of Contents

Introduction. Who Designs Landscapes? What Can Landscapes Represent? Are Landscapes Natural? Memory and Emotion. Instrumental Imagination. Aesthetic Experience

About the Author

Susan Herrington is an Associate Professor of landscape architecture and environmental design at the University of British Columbia. She is also a licensed landscape architect in the United States.

About the Series

Thinking in Action

'Three of the first batch deserve high praise: On Immigration and Refugees, by the great logician (and campaigner for racial equality) Michael Dummett; On Belief, by that master of postmodern paradox, Slavoj Zizek; and On the Internet by Hubert L Dreyfus.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

This is clearly an important series. I look forward to reading future volumes.' - Frank Kermode, author of Shakespeare's Language

Both rigorous and accessible.' - Humanist News

The series looks superb.' - Quentin Skinner

'An excellent and beautiful series.' - Ben Rogers, author of A.J.Ayer: A Life

"Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series.' - Mute Magazine

'Routledge's new series, Thinking in Action, brings philosophers to our aid.' - The Evening Standard

'A welcome new series by Routledge.' - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society

Thinking in Action
is a major series that takes philosophy to its public. Each book in the series is written by a major international philosopher or thinker, engages with an important contemporary topic, and is clearly and accessibly written. The series informs and sharpens debate on topics as wide ranging as the internet, religion, the problem of immigration and refugees and the way we think about science. Punchy, short, and stimulating, Thinking in Action is an indispensable series of books for anyone who wants to think seriously about major issues confronting us today.

Edited by Simon Critchley, New School University, USA and Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics