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Open AccessEssay

Why Landscape Beauty Matters

Philosophisches Seminar, Departement Philosophie und Medienwissenschaft, Universität Basel, Steinengraben 5, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland
Land 2014, 3(4), 1251-1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/land3041251
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 5 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
This philosophical paper explores the aesthetic argument for landscape conservation. The main claim is that the experience of beautiful landscapes is an essential part of the good human life. Beautiful landscapes make us feel at home in the world. Their great and irreplaceable value lies therein. To establish this claim, the concepts of landscape and “Stimmung” are clarified. It is shown how “Stimmung” (in the sense of mood) is infused into landscape (as atmosphere) and how we respond to it aesthetically. We respond by resonating or feeling at home. The paper ends by indicating how art can help us to better appreciate landscape beauty. This is done by way of an example from contemporary nature poetry, Michael Donhauser’s Variationen in Prosa, which begins with “Und was da war, es nahm uns an” (“And what was there accepted us”). View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental ethics/the good life/intrinsic value/justice; environmental aesthetics/beauty/sublimity; landscape; “Stimmung”/mood/atmosphere; “Heimat”/feeling at home/sense of place; nature poetry environmental ethics/the good life/intrinsic value/justice; environmental aesthetics/beauty/sublimity; landscape; “Stimmung”/mood/atmosphere; “Heimat”/feeling at home/sense of place; nature poetry
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Krebs, A. Why Landscape Beauty Matters. Land 2014, 3, 1251-1269.

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