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Aesthetics of nature developed as a sub-field of philosophical ethics. In the 18th and 19th century, the aesthetics of nature advanced the concepts of disinterestedness, the picturesque, and the introduction of the idea of positive aesthetics. The first major developments of nature occurred in the 18th century. The concept of disinterestedness had been explained by many thinkers. Anthony Ashley-Cooper introduced the concept as a way of characterizing the notion of the aesthetic, later magnified by Francis Hutcheson, who expanded it to exclude personal and utilitarianism interests and associations of a more general nature from aesthetic experience. This concept was further developed by Archibald Alison who referred it to a particular state of mind.
The theory of disinterestedness opened doors for a better understanding of the aesthetics dimensions of nature in terms of three conceptualizations:
Objects experienced as beautiful tend to be small, smooth, and fair in color. In contrast, objects viewed as sublime tend to be powerful, intense and terrifying. Picturesque items are a mixture of both, which can be seen as varied and irregular, rich and forceful, and even vibrant.
Cognitive and non-cognitive approaches of nature have directed their focus from natural environments to the consideration of human and human influenced environments and developed aesthetic investigations of everyday life.(Carlson and Lintott, 2007; Parsons 2008a; Carlson 2010)
People may be mistaken by the art object analogy. For instance, a sandhill crane is not an art object; an art object is not a sandhill crane. In fact, an art object should be called an artifact. The crane is wildlife on its own and is not an art object. This can be related to Satio's definition of the cognitive view. In elaboration, the crane lives through various ecosystems such as Yellowstone. Nature is a living system which includes animals, plants, and Eco-systems. In contrast, an art object has no regeneration, evolutionary history, or metabolism. An individual may be in the forest and perceive it as beautiful because of the plethora of colors such as red, green, and yellow. This is a result of the chemicals interacting with chlorophyll. An individual's aesthetic experience may increase; however, none of the things mentioned have anything to do with what is really going on in the forest. The chlorophyll is capturing solar energy and the residual chemicals protect the trees from insect grazing.
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