Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

April 18, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
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A Song of Ice and Atmosphere: John Muir and the Aesthetics of Cold Environments

What follows is a post in our ongoing JAAC x AFB series, a collaboration between Aesthetics for Birds and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Today, Emily Brady shares some insights from her recent paper, “John Muir’s Environmental Aesthetics: Interweaving the Aesthetic, Religious, and Scientific“, which you can find in the recent Special Issue of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism on Environmentalism and Aesthetics. I greatly enjoyed my walk up this majestic ice-river, charmed by the pale-blue, ineffably fine light in the crevasses, moulins, and wells, and the innumerable azure pools in basins of azure ice, and the network of surface streams, large and small, gliding, swirling with wonderful grace of motion in their frictionless channels, calling forth devout admiration at almost every step and filling the mind with a sense of Nature’s endless beauty and power. Looking ahead from the middle of the glacier, you see the … Continue reading

September 27, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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The Aesthetics Of Rock Climbing

The pleasures of rock climbing and the pleasures of philosophy turn out to be strangely similar. So starts an essay by AFB’s Thi Nguyen for The Philosophers’ Mag. The aesthetics of climbing is an aesthetics of the climber’s own motion, and an aesthetics of how that motion functions as a solution to a problem. There is, for the climber, a very special experience of harmony available – a harmony between one’s abilities and the challenges they meet. His wide-ranging essay is ultimately about rock climbing, but touches on dance and proprioception, as well as games, sports, and problem solving. Check out the whole thing here. Image credit: Mark Doliner via Flickr

October 27, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds
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The Aesthetic Appreciation of Natural Disasters

What follows is a guest post by Helen de Cruz. Helen is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, affiliated to the Faculty of Philosophy and Somerville College. She has authored numerous journal articles on a variety of issues within philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of religion, naturalistic approaches to epistemology, and the integration thereof. Her personal webpage can be found here.   Hayao Miyazaki’s animation movie Ponyo features a tsunami. The tsunami is shown in its full threatening and destructive power, yet is rendered with a great aesthetic sensibility. On several occasions, Miyazaki expressed his aesthetic delight in natural disasters, and defended it as follows:   There are many typhoons and earthquakes in Japan. There is no point in portraying these natural disasters as evil events. They are one of the givens in the world in which we live. I am always moved when I visit … Continue reading