The Aesthetics of Environment

Arnold Berleant
Book Cover

PB: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-334-8
Publication: Jan 95

HC: $44.95
EAN: 978-0-87722-993-3
Publication: Nov 92

Ebook: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0538-8

256 pages
6 x 9

An engaging discussion of environment as aesthetic experience

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


Environmental aesthetics is an emerging discipline that explores the meaning and influence of environmental perception and experience on human life. Arguing for the idea that environment is not merely a setting for people but fully integrated and continuous with us, Arnold Berleant explores the aesthetic dimensions of the human-environment continuum in both theoretical terms and concrete situations. Insisting on the need to reconceptualize environment and recognize its aesthetic implications, he pursues a variety of topics and approaches to environmental aesthetics.

Aesthetic experience, maintains Berleant, is always contextual. Recognizing that humans, along with all other things, inhabit a single intraconnected realm, he names the quality of engagement as the foremost characteristic of environmental perception. Berleant moves from natural to nonnatural environments, suggesting that the aesthetic aspect of any human habitat is an essential part of its desirability. From outer space to the museum, from architecture to landscape, from city to wilderness, this book discovers in the aesthetic perception of environment the reciprocity that constitutes both person and place.

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1. Environment as a Challenge to Aesthetics 2. The Aesthetic Sense of Environment 3. Descriptive Aesthetics 4. Scenes from a Connecticut Landscape: Four Studies in Descriptive Aesthetics 5. Aesthetic Paradigms for an Urban Ecology 6. Cultivating an Urban Aesthetic 7. Designing Outer Space 8. The Museum of Art as a Participatory Environment 9. Environmental Criticism 10. Environment as an Aesthetic Paradigm 11. The Aesthetics of Art and Nature 12. Reclaiming the American Landscape Notes Index

About the Author(s)

Arnold Berleant is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Long Island University, and the author of The Aesthetic Field and Art and Engagement (Temple).