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Aesthetic Value, Ethics and Climate Change

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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.
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Keywords: aesthetic value; climate change; environmental aesthetics; ethics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-10-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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