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December 15 , 2009

Aesthetics beyond the Arts

New and Recent Essays


Taking the view that aesthetics is a study grounded in perception, the essays in this volume exhibit many sides of the perceptual complex that is the aesthetic field and develop them in different ways. They reinvigorate our understanding of such arts as music and architecture; they range across the natural landscape to the urban one; they reassess the place of beauty in the modern environment and reassess the significance of the contributions to aesthetic theory of Kant and Dewey; and they broach the kinds of meanings and larger understanding that aesthetic engagement with the human environment can offer. Written over the past decade, these original and innovative essays lead to a fresh encounter with the possibilities of aesthetic experience, one which has constantly evolved, moving in recent years in the direction of what Berleant terms 'social aesthetics', which enhances human-environmental integration and sociality.

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