In my English talk I will first draw a map of the difficult territory of environmental ethics marking its main positions and arguments. My claim will be that one particular class of arguments, namely those for the eudaemonic intrinsic value of nature (as opposed to its moral intrinsic value and to its merely instrumental value), should be taken more seriously. Nature is eudaemonically important for us first in its beauty and sublimity, second as a place with which we can identify, as “Heimat”, and third in its sacredness. We should protect nature not only for its obvious instrumental value but also for these aesthetic, psychological and religious reasons.
The second and main section of my talk will focus on just one aspect of the aesthetic reason for the protection of nature. My claim here will be that the aesthetic experience of beautiful atmospheric landscapes makes us feel at home in the world, safe and accepted, and that its great and irreplaceable value lies in this. To establish this claim I will clarify the concepts of landscape and “Stimmung” or atmosphere, and show how “Stimmungen” get into landscapes and how we respond to them aesthetically.
In the third and last part of my talk I will indicate how art can help us to better appreciate natural beauty. I will do this by way of an example from nature poetry, Michael Donhauser’s Variations in Prose, which begin with “And what was there accepted us”.
Prof. Dr. Angelika Krebs ist Ordinaria am Philosophischen Seminar der Universität Basel. Nach dem Studium der Philosophie, Deutschen Literatur und Musikwissenschaft in Freiburg, Oxford und Konstanz, erfolgte ihre Promotion und Habilitation in Frankfurt.
Publikationen (Auswahl): Zwischen Ich und Du. Eine dialogische Philosophie der Liebe (Suhrkamp 2013), Arbeit und Liebe (Suhrkamp 2002), Gleichheit oder Gerechtigkeit (Hg., Suhrkamp 2000) und Ethics of Nature (De Gruyter 1999).
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