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Abstract

Agriculture has received relatively little attention in environmental aesthetics, given its importance culturally for the physical sustenance of societies and from an eco-system perspective. In this article I take some steps towards developing a life-world approach to the agricultural landscape, where the intimate and long-term relationship between farmer and land is understood as having the potential for being a norm rather than the opposite of an aesthetic appreciation of landscape. This requires a narrative understanding of landscape, where culture and nature are seen as plural and relative to each other. I claim that the aesthetic competence of the farmer is inseparable from personal interest, which makes appreciation more acute and vivid both in perceiving nuances and in realising the existential drama of landscape. Finally I suggest that practicing agriculture is a genuine way of knowing nature and that some familiarity with agriculture should be included in all environmental education.

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