By David Edward Cooper
Why do gardens subject loads and suggest loads to humans? that's the exciting query to which David Cooper seeks a solution during this booklet. Given the passion for gardens in human civilization historic and glossy, japanese and Western, it's incredible that the query has been goodbye ignored through glossy philosophy. Now eventually there's a philosophy of gardens. David Cooper identifies backyard appreciation as a unique human phenomenon detailed from either from the appreciation of paintings and the appreciation of nature. He discusses the contribution of gardening and different garden-related ambitions to "the reliable life." And he distinguishes the numerous forms of meanings that gardens can have, from their illustration of nature to their non secular importance. A Philosophy of Gardens will open up this topic to scholars and students of aesthetics, ethics, and cultural and environmental experiences, and to an individual with a reflective curiosity in issues horticultural.
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Extra info for A Philosophy of Gardens
So what else, someone may respond, can enjoyment of a ballet be but a combination of enjoyment of the music and enjoyment of the dancers’ movements? But that’s a bad response. A ballet may be enjoyable even though the music, as listened to on a CD, isn’t; nor are the movements when watched by someone with ear-plugs. Appreciation of a ballet, that is, is poorly analysed as appreciation of a piece of music and appreciation of movement which are then stuck together. (Compare and contrast the admiration of the judges, at the Olympic games, for a diver’s performance.
To gardens and paintings respectively. The historian of gardens Marie-Louise Gothein writes of the landscape designer Humphrey Repton that he ‘free[d] himself from the exaggerated idea of a similarity between painting and landscape gardening’ once ‘he had laid his ﬁnger on the difference between them, caused by the constant alteration in the [garden] spectator’s point of view’ (quoted in Howard 1991: 127). Typically, we do not just stare at a whole garden from a window or a terrace, but look at it as we move around or through it, or when otherwise actively engaged—taking a drink out on to the lawn, say, or while watering a bush.
Appreciation of them does not, therefore, enjoy the same radical freedom and indeterminateness of nature appreciation. While there is no privileged or authoritative viewpoint or context for experiencing a garden, there are certainly limits—constraints—on appropriateness of experience. One cannot appropriately appreciate a modest-sized garden from a hot-air balloon, for example, or a luxuriant tropical garden, designed to be enjoyed for ten months of the year, during the leaden, rainy days of the remaining two months.
A Philosophy of Gardens by David Edward Cooper