Digital Commons@RISD Home > Division of Liberal Arts > Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal Archive) > Vol. 5 (2007)
If aesthetics is to claim its place among the fundamental philosophical disciplines, it must adequately deal with the ecological challenge, that is, the need to explain the continuity-relation between human and non-human environments. To that effect, Arnold Berleant's aesthetics of engagement constitutes an attractive proposal. Its critics (Allen Carlson and others) seem to miss its point and attack it on the basis of a particular understanding of Kantian aesthetics (mainly the disinterestedness thesis). But not only can Berleant's aesthetics meet the ecological challenge; it is also possible that it encourages a re-evaluation of traditional aesthetic categories (like disinterestedness) without necessarily precipitating a need to jettison their deeply entrenched significance.