Philosophical Bases for the Study

This project,"A World Community of Old Trees", is based in the biocentric ecology philosophy of Aldo Leopold and the environmental aesthetics of Arnold Berleant. In his Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic is an explanation of biocentrism. He shows us that humans are part of rather than separate from nature.

Arnold Berleant provides a workable aesthetics model for this project in his book, The Aesthetics of Environment. He defines nature as "totality", that humans along with all other things, "inhabit a single intraconnected realm." What he is saying is that a tree is an object of contemplation like a work of art, but that it is part of our entire experience, not apart from us. We may have always known that nature could appeal to our aesthetic sensibility but Berleant's aesthetics shows us that this nature that we experience is really ourselves.

Berleant's descriptive narrative provides an excellent model for describing our encounters with extraordinary trees. He shows us how to speak from all of our sense modalities . I hope you will try it, too.

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June Julian jj68@nyu.edu

A World Community of Old Trees
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