By Allen Carlson
Conventional aesthetics is frequently linked to the appreciation of artwork, yet Allen Carlson exhibits how a lot of
our aesthetic adventure doesn't surround artwork yet nature--in our reaction to sunsets, mountains, horizons or extra mundane atmosphere.
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Additional resources for Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture
Art transports us from the world of man’s activity to a world of aesthetic exaltation. ”9 Thus, in formalism we have a theory of art which provides the following account of the conflict Twain finds between aesthetic experience and understanding: aesthetic experience involves only the appreciation of form and excludes any attention to content; the former requires no knowledge yielding understanding of meaning and, although the latter does require such knowledge, since it is excluded from aesthetic appreciation, whatever knowledge is needed to understand the meaning of content is at best irrelevant and at worse harmful to aesthetic appreciation.
In short, Twain’s conception of aesthetic experience is that of an intense emotional state evoked by the appreciation of striking combinations of colors, lines, and shapes. Twain’s experience is both more refined and in a sense sparser than that of seeing pretty pictures. Formalism and aesthetic experience If this is a correct characterization of Twain’s conception of aesthetic experience, we may now inquire as to why, given this conception, he seemingly holds that an aesthetic experience of a thing is in conflict with knowledge yielding an understanding of its meaning.
Bell’s development of the theory is especially helpful in attempting to understand Twain’s point of view. ”4 Thus, Bell’s account of aesthetic experience is essentially like that of Twain in that the experience is constituted by a heightened emotional state evoked by the formal aspects of objects. ”5 And although Bell takes the experience of art to be the paradigm of this kind of formalist aesthetic experience, he also, like Twain, conceives of the aesthetic appreciation of nature in similar terms.
Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture by Allen Carlson