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By David Edward Cooper

Why do gardens subject rather a lot and suggest rather a lot to humans? that's the interesting query to which David Cooper seeks a solution during this publication. Given the keenness for gardens in human civilization historical and sleek, japanese and Western, it really is striking that the query has been goodbye missed through smooth philosophy. Now finally there's a philosophy of gardens. David Cooper identifies backyard appreciation as a distinct human phenomenon certain from either from the appreciation of artwork and the appreciation of nature. He discusses the contribution of gardening and different garden-related ambitions to "the strong life." And he distinguishes the various sorts of meanings that gardens could have, from their illustration of nature to their religious value. A Philosophy of Gardens will open up this topic to scholars and students of aesthetics, ethics, and cultural and environmental reviews, and to a person with a reflective curiosity in issues horticultural.

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In objecting to such introductions, however, his many critics have usually meant that it is unnatural to grow plants that are not ecological natives of one’s country or parish. Again, some debates reflect the different uses of ‘nature’ to refer now to the natural environment that is visible to us, and now to ‘the essential reality underlying all things’ which, Art or Nature? 35 according to Monet’s friend, Georges Clemenceau, the great painter was trying to ‘expose’ in his garden at Giverny (Holmes 2001: 72).

You gathered a moss-rose one moment and a bunch of currants the next; you were in a delicious fluctuation between the scent of jasmine and the juice of gooseberries. (Quoted in Wheeler 1998: 321) Eighty years later, the gardener and author William Bowyer Honey wrote: It is a familiar experience to find one’s greatest aesthetic enjoyment . . in something incidental, the by-product of another activity . . In many gardens . . planted for a practical utilitarian purpose, such experiences are very precious, and the joy taken in beauty of form and colour may be all the keener for its incidental character.

Nevertheless, it’s possible to discern, among some proponents, how they intend the thesis to be interpreted. I shall argue in this section that the thesis, on that interpretation, is implausible. ) What factorizers seem to have in mind is that our experiences in and of a garden oscillate between those which attend, respectively, 48 Art-and-Nature? to its artistic and natural features. Appreciation of gardens is then held to be a function of those attentive experiences. As one philosopher, reflecting on appreciation of various places—ruins and ‘earthworks’, as well as gardens—that do ‘not fit comfortably’ into either the natural world or the world of art alone puts it, ‘our perceptual consciousness shifts back and forth between an awareness’ of their human, artefactual aspects and consciousness of natural phenomena, such as destructive ‘forces of nature’ in the case of ruins (Crawford 1983: 55).

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