An anthology of essays written by Arnold Berleant on urban aesthetics. Includes citation, abstract, and DOI for each title.
It is important to complement the empirical studies that supply specific data for environmental design by articulating the aesthetic ideas that underlie empirical research and practical decision making. These empirical studies share with philosophical aesthetics a foundation in sense experience. How this experience is to be understood and used…[Read more]
The perception of the physical environment resembles the experience of landscape painting, although differences appear in its sensory modalities, in the force and directness of what is present to us, in the overtness and movement of engagement. The objects of the ordinary world often impose themselves forcibly on our thoughts and actions, and our…[Read more]
The perimeter of architecture has expanded beyond separate buildings to embrace urban groupings, such as the cultural center and the pedestrian mall. And it has enlarged its scope still farther, redeveloping urban zones into “cities” that incorporate apartments, offices, shops, schools, and parks. Moreover, the range of architecture has moved in…[Read more]
“Urban Aesthetics, Ethics and Urban Environment”
An English translation of an interview of Arnold Berleant by Almantas Samalavičius (published in Polish). They discuss the connection between environment and aesthetics, the human environment, urbanism, and architecture.
The interest in environmental aesthetic that politicians and con¬servationists have recently been showing seems clear in its intent. It appears to be a belated yet important effort to save the values of our natural world from final exploitation and the irrevocable disfigurement and 1088 that must follow. If it is to result in more than a program…[Read more]
The idea of ecology embraces more than the biological world; it extends to the cultural world as well, including the built environment. At the same time our understanding of environment has changed to include the human participants and not just their external surroundings. Furthermore, humans engage their environment perceptually and this…[Read more]
What I have tried to do here is to clarify and redefine the idea of environment in a way that recognizes its contextual character and includes humans, and so cannot be objectified. Similarly, environmental forms must not be understood as objects of experience but as constituents in an experiential, aesthetic field. We may even consider the urban…[Read more]
This inquiry into the aesthetic of the city has two objectives. One is to explore the dimension of urban life suggested by the metaphor, “wilderness,” hoping to discover what distinctive vision of urban life the “wilderness city” can provide. The other is to use this investigation to uncover something about the meaning and function of…[Read more]
One of the perennial problems in aesthetics is the justification of normative judgments. How can we support the claim that a painting in a new and unfamiliar style is beautiful rather than bizarre, an action noble rather than base, or a public building that does not honor the classical convention of monumentality or the modern one of individuality…[Read more]
The city does not exist. The city is a fiction, an abstraction rooted in history and mythology. For how can we identify it? However it is identified or defined, the city is an environment of experience before it is anything else. Urban experience, in fact, is perhaps one of the most important and powerful of the complex dimensions that…[Read more]
The agricultural metaphor of my title is deliberate. It suggests the need for cultivating the urban environment, including the aesthetic dimension that is part of every place, so that it offers the conditions under which people will develop and flourish. Humane environments require time to grow and should emerge out of local needs, conditions,…[Read more]
Environmental aesthetics has become a matter of concern to many different groups in recent years–to conservationists, to legislators, reluctantly to industrialists, and indeed to the public at large. This interest seems to have a clear purpose. It is regarded as an effort, belated and desperate, to save the resources and beauties of our natural…[Read more]
While the environment has become a popular topic in many circles conservation, legislative, community, and international, to name a few, it has not often been the subject of a broadly reflective inquiry into its philosophical meaning and significance. Indeed, in the flurry of attention toward the environment, one crucial aspect of the subject…[Read more]
An expanded anthology of critical essays on aesthetics by Arnold Berleant. Includes citation and DOI for each article.
Violence has long been a factor in human life and has been widely depicted in the arts. This essay explores how the artistic and appreciative responses to violence have been practiced, understood, and valued. It emphasizes the difference between the aesthetics of distant, disinterested appreciation and the engaged appreciative experience of…[Read more]
How can art and artist be both autonomous and inseparable from the network of social processes? Aren’t these incompatible conditions? Not exactly, for while the arts are an integral part of the social order, their social value, I want to argue, rests on the preservation of artistic freedom. Under such a condition the arts not only make their…[Read more]
Illuminating the pervasiveness and importance of the aesthetic presence was the task I undertook in my recent book, Sensibility and Sense: The Aesthetic Transformation of the Human World, and this essay develops the final chapter in that book. What I want to do here is carry that process still further, most particularly into the regions of…[Read more]
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