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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Aesthetic Value, Ethics and Climate Change

Emily Brady

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 551-570. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181112


Philosophical discussions of climate change have mainly conceived of it as a moral or ethical problem, but climate change also raises new challenges for aesthetics. In this paper I show that, in particular, climate change (1) raises difficult questions about the status of aesthetic judgments about the future, or 'future aesthetics'; and (2) puts into relief some challenging issues at the intersection of aesthetics and ethics. I maintain that we can rely on aesthetic predictions to enable us to grasp, in some sense, aesthetic value in environments affected by climate change and, through a discussion of three hypothetical cases, I argue that, although moral considerations will press on aesthetic judgments, aesthetic value will not necessarily be trumped by them.


Climate change, environmental aesthetics, aesthetic value, ethics

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Contemporary Environmental Aesthetics and the Requirements of Environmentalism. Allen Carlson

Aesthetic Disillusionment: Environment, Ethics, Art. Cheryl Foster

A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption. Stephen M. Gardiner

The Aesthetics of Sky and Space. Ronald W. Hepburn

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Climate Change, Irreversible Change and Changing Perspectives. Claudia Carter

Environmental Aesthetics and Rewilding. Jonathan Prior, Emily Brady

Spatial Framing, Existing Associations and Climate Change Beliefs. Adrian Brügger, Nicholas F. Pidgeon

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