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Allen Carlson
Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada T6G 2E7

Research Interests:
Aesthetics, Environmental Philosophy, Aesthetics of Nature

Selected Recent Publications:


Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009) 184 pp., 12 illus.

Functional Beauty, with G. Parsons (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, paperback 2012) 256 pp.

Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2000, paperback 2002) 247 pp., 10 illus.

Edited Books:

Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty, ed. with S. Lintott (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008) 472 pp.

The Aesthetics of Human Environments, ed. with A. Berleant (Peterborough: Broadview, 2007) 312 pp.

The Aesthetics of Natural Environments, ed. with A. Berleant (Peterborough: Broadview, 2004) 312 pp.

Essays in Books and Journals:

“The Relationship between Eastern Ecoaesthetics and Western Environmental Aesthetics,” Philosophy East and West (forthcoming).

“Landscape,” Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics, eds., B. Hale and A. Light (New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge, forthcoming).

“The Appreciative Paradox of Japanese Gardens,” New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics, ed., M. Nguyen (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, forthcoming).

“The Place of Ecoaesthetics within Environmental Aesthetics,” translated by Zhao Qing and revised by Xiangzhan Cheng, Seeking Truth 42 (2015): 115-119. 

“Ten Steps in the Development of Western Environmental Aesthetics,” Environmental Aesthetics: Crossing Divides and Breaking Ground, eds., M. Drenthen and J. Keulartz (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), pp 13-24.

“The Link between Aesthetic Appreciation and the Preservation Imperative,” with S. Lintott, Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World: Values, Philosophy, and Action, eds., R. Rozzi, S.T.A. Pickett, C. Palmer, J.J. Armesto, and J. B. Callicott (New York/Heidelberg: Springer, 2014) pp. 125-136.

“The Dilemma of Everyday Aesthetics,” Aesthetics of Everyday Life: West and East, eds., L. Yuedi and C. Carter (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014) pp. 48-64.

Distinguishing Intention and Function in Art Appreciation,” with G. Parsons, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (2013): 153-154.

“Environmental Aesthetics,” Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, Third Edition, eds., B. Gaut and D. Lopes (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 485-498.

“Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature and Environmentalism,” Philosophy and the Environment: Royal Institute of Philosophy 69, ed., A. O'Hear (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) pp. 137-155.

“Scientific Understanding of Environmental Aesthetics in Perspective,” with Xue Fuxing, Aesthetics International-Contemporary International Aestheticians Interviews, ed., L. Yuedi (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2010) pp. 128-162.

“Contemporary Environmental Aesthetics and the Requirements of Environmentalism,” Environmental Values 19 (2010): 289-314

“Environmental Aesthetics,” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. E. Craig (London: Routledge, 2010).

“Nature, Aesthetic Appreciation of,” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. E. Craig (London: Routledge, 2010).

“Environmental Aesthetics,” A Companion to Aesthetics, Second Edition, eds., S. Davies, K. Higgins, R. Hopkins, R. Stecker, and D. Cooper (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) pp. 134-136.  

“The Requirements for an Adequate Aesthetics of Nature,” Environmental Philosophy 4 (2007): 1-12.

“Arnold Berleant’s Environmental Aesthetics,” Ethics, Place and Environment 10 (2007): 217-225.

“Aesthetics and Environment,” British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 416-427.

“The Aesthetic Appreciation of Architecture under Different Conceptions of the Environment,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 40 (2006): 77-88.

“‘We see beauty now where we could not see it before’: Rolston’s Aesthetics of Nature,” Nature, Value, Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III, eds., C. Preston and W. Ouderkirk (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006) pp. 103-124.

“The Requirements for an Adequate Aesthetics of Nature,” Aesthetic Culture: Essays in Honour of Yrjö Sepänmaa on his Sixtieth Birthday, 12 December 2005, eds., S. Knuuttila, E. Sevanen and R. Turunen (Helsinki: Maahenki Oy, 2005) pp. 15-34.

“Scientific Representations of Natural Landscapes and Appropriate Aesthetic Appreciation,” Rivista di Estetica (Review of Aesthetics) 29 (2005): 41-51.

“Budd and Brady on the Aesthetics of Nature,” Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2005): 107-114.

“New Formalism and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature,” with G. Parsons, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004): 363-376.

Some Internet Resources:

“Teaching Environmental Aesthetics,” American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter 22 (2003, updated 2008): 3-5:

“Environmental Aesthetics,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. E. N. Zalta (Stanford: SEP, 2007, revised 2010, 2015):

Enhanced bibliography for this SEP entry at PhilPapers, with links to its database:          

Some Earlier Publications:

“Nature Appreciation and the Question of Aesthetic Relevance,” Environment and the Arts, ed., A. Berleant (London: Ashgate, 2002) pp. 62-75.

“Education for Appreciation: What is the Correct Curriculum for Landscape?” Journal of Aesthetic Education 35 (2001): 97-112.

“On Aesthetically Appreciating Human Environments,” Philosophy and Geography 4 (2001): 9-24.    

“The Aesthetic Appreciation of Everyday Architecture,” Architecture and Civilization, ed., M. Mitias (Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1999) pp. 107-121.

“On the Aesthetic Appreciation of Japanese Gardens,” British Journal of Aesthetics 37 (1997): 47-56.

“Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment,” Aesthetics, eds., S. Feagin and P. Maynard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) pp. 30-40.

“Nature, Aesthetic Appreciation, and Knowledge” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1995): 393-400.

“Existence, Location, and Function: The Appreciation of Architecture,” Philosophy and Architecture, ed., M. Mitias (Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1994) pp. 141-164.

“Appreciating Art and Appreciating Nature,” Landscape, Natural Beauty, and the Arts, eds., S. Kemal and I. Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) pp. 199-227.

“Aesthetics and Engagement,” British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1993): 220-227.

“On the Theoretical Vacuum in Landscape Assessment,” Landscape Journal 12 (1993): 51-56.

“Environmental Aesthetics,” A Companion to Aesthetics, ed., D. Cooper (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1992) pp. 142-144.

“Whose Vision? Whose Meanings? Whose Values?: Pluralism and Objectivity in Landscape Analysis,” Vision, Culture, and Landscape, ed., P. Groth (Berkeley: University of California, 1990) pp. 157-168.

“Is Environmental Art an Aesthetic Affront to Nature?” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1986): 635-650.

“Reconsidering the Aesthetics of Architecture,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 20 (1986): 21-27.

“On Appreciating Agricultural Landscapes,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 43 (1985): 301-312.

“Nature and Positive Aesthetics,” Environmental Ethics 6 (1984): 5-34.

“Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (1981): 15-27. 

“Formal Qualities and the Natural Environment,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 13 (1979): 99-114.

“Appreciation and the Natural Environment,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1979): 267-276.

“On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty,” Landscape Planning 4 (1977): 131-172.

“Environmental Aesthetics and the Dilemma of Aesthetic Education,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 10 (1976): 69-82.

Essays only in Finnish

“Tarkasteluun kasvattaminen: mikä on olennaista maisemassa?” translated by T. Nuopponen, Maiseman kanssa kasvokkain, eds., Y. Sepänmaa, L. Heikkilä-Palo, and V. Kaukio (Helsinki: Maahenki Oy, 2007) pp. 92-107.

“Viljelysmaisemien esteettinen arvo ja touttavuus,” translated by K. Nieminen, Pellossa perihopeat, eds., Y. Sepänmaa and L. Heikkilä-Palo (Helsinki: Maahenki Oy, 2005) pp. 52-61.

“Soiden ihaileminen: kosteikkojen vaikea kauneus,” translated by K. Nieminen, Suo on kaunis, ed., L. Heikkilä-Palo (Helsinki: Maahenki Oy, 1999) pp. 173-181.




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