Aesthetics in Practice: Valuing the Natural World Academic Article uri icon


  • Aesthetic value, often viewed as subjective and even trivial compared to other environmental values, is commonly given low priority in policy debates. In this paper I argue that the seriousness and importance of aesthetic value cannot be denied when we recognise the ways that aesthetic experience is already embedded in a range of human practices. The first area of human practice considered involves the complex relationship between aesthetic experience and the development of an ethical attitude towards the environment. I then discuss how aesthetics has played a role in scientific study and the use of evaluative aesthetic concepts in science, such as variety and diversity. The final section shows the connection between the beneficial effects of aesthetic engagement with nature and the restorative value of nature for human well-being.

published proceedings

  • Environmental Values

author list (cited authors)

  • Brady, E.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Brady, Emily

publication date

  • August 2006