A new aesthetic for environmental awareness: Chaos theory, the beauty of nature, and our broader humanistic identity

Authors
Citation
R. Richards, A new aesthetic for environmental awareness: Chaos theory, the beauty of nature, and our broader humanistic identity, J HUM PSY, 41(2), 2001, pp. 59-95
Citations number
80
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1678 → ACNP
Volume
41
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
59 - 95
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1678(200121)41:2<59:ANAFEA>2.0.ZU;2-Z
Abstract
Can beauty help us adapt, evolve, and cope with environmental crisis? This article challenges the longstanding Kantian view that beauty is "disinteres ted:" while linking Kant's view of the sublime with chaos theory and the fr actal forms of nature. We humans participate in beauty as open systems in o ngoing process, coevolving with all of existence. Beauty offers us consciou s awareness and resonance with deeper life patterns. We sense our interconn ection and the "bounded infinities" of potentialities related to chaotic "s trange attractors." A study of aesthetic preference not only supports prefe rence for the fractal forms of nature but suggests, tentatively, that creat ive persons prefer forms of even higher "dimensionality." Beauty can open u p our vision in an endangered world-while yielding intimacy and delight, no t isolation and fear. Caring can become natural for the greater whole we al l cocreate. As humanistic psychologists, we can be concerned with no less t han this totality.