Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Postive Aesthetic Qualities

For the talk I'm giving in 3 hours, I need to use three visual examples. I figure the easiest way to be sure I can get to the links from the auditorium is to post them here. Also, providing three examples of things that are visually appealing might be of general interest. Here goes:

Human physical beauty

Natural Environmental Beauty

Artistic Beauty

And with these kinds of positive aesthetic qualities come organizations to promote them.

A Lauren Ambrose Fan Page

the sierra club

The Art Institute of Chicago

ok, since I have these links up, I'll provide a discussion question for you, the internet.

Should president Bush declare Lauren Ambrose a national monument, the way that Clinto declared 21 wilderness areas to be national monuments?

One of the things I will argue in 3 hours is that these three kinds of aesthetic value should be roughly comperable in their ability to override moral concerns. For intance, many people (not me) say that it was ok for Gauguin to abandon his family in order to paint, because the paintings he produced are so beautiful (or have some other set of positive aesthetic qualities). If we assume, however, that the main justification for environmental preservation is aesthetics, then we do not treat these three situations equally. In fact, we call on people to make huge sacrifices for natural beauty, sacrifices that we would never consider making for human physical beauty, and make only occasionally for artistic beauty. From this I conclude that aesthetics isn't the primary justification for environmetalism, even though it plays a *huge* role in the rhetoric of the environmental movement.

Ok, now I have the visual aids for the talk. All I need to do is write the talk.

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