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Environmental AestheticsCrossing Divides and Breaking Ground$
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Martin Drenthen and Jozef Keulartz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254491

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254491.001.0001

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Toward an Aesthetics of Respect

Toward an Aesthetics of Respect

Kant’s Contribution to Environmental Aesthetics

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter 5 Toward an Aesthetics of Respect
Source:
Environmental Aesthetics
Author(s):

Denis Dumas

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823254491.003.0006

Dennis Dumas focuses on the relationship between environmental ethics and environmental aesthetics, two philosophical disciplines that emerged at about the same time. Dumas turns to Kant’s third critique--the Critique of the Power of Judgement--to obtain an aesthetics of respect for nature. Strictly speaking, the one and only object of our respect is the moral law. Respect means the awareness of the free and voluntary subordination of our will to the moral law. According to Kant, respect for a person is in fact only respect for the law. In this way, Kant extends the notion of respect to humans. Dumas examines another extension of this notion, an extension of the second degree, from respect for humanity to respect for the aesthetic value of natural environments. Along these lines, Dumas arrives at an indirect duty of environmental protection which avoids the pitfalls and problems of non-anthropocentrism that proclaims direct ethical respect for nature.

Keywords:   Aesthetics of Respect, Environmental Ethics, Non-anthropocentrism, Immanuel Kant

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