On the Proper Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature in Design

Wednesday, 07 December 2022, 16:00-18:00

Senate House, Room 243


In this paper, I argue for a version of cognitivism, according to which a certain kind of knowledge is necessary for the proper aesthetic appreciation of nature. My argument concerns nature as incorporated in certain instances of design, such as fashion design. My target will be a version of anti-cognitivism according to which awareness of appearances is all we need to properly aesthetically appreciate nature. Against this, I argue that the proper aesthetic appreciation of nature in certain instances of design requires both awareness of appearances and knowledge of the natural kinds of some of their components (e.g., mussel shells). My argument hinges on the idea that the aesthetic appreciation of these instances of design would be largely incomplete, or otherwise defective, if it did not take into account such knowledge.


Following NHS guidance, all attendees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated (including boosters) against Covid-19, unless medically exempt. Face coverings are still encouraged, especially in classrooms. Our group is diverse; please continue to be considerate of those who wear face coverings and those who don’t. Thank you.