Environmental Aesthetics Beyond the Dialectics of Interest and Disinterest: Deconstructing the Myth of Pristine Nature

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Antony Fredriksson
Publisher: Aarhus University Press
Place: Aarhus
Publication year: 2011
Journal: Nordic Journal of Aesthetics
Volume number: 22
Issue number: 40-41
Start page: 89
End page: 105
eISSN: 2000-9607


In this paper I want to scrutinize one of the key ideas within modern Western aesthetics. Beauty is often considered to derive from a virtuous disinterested attitude towards nature. This kind of view has been advocated by thinkers such as Shaftesbury and Kant in the beginning of the so-called aesthetic turn in philosophy. The problem with this view is that it presupposes that nature exists by itself before human intervention in a kind of ideal pristine state. My hypothesis is that this ideal of pristine nature constitutes one of the underlying problems of many contemporary environmental discourses.


Culture, Disinterestedness, Natural beauty, Picturesque, Pristine nature, Sublime


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