Abstract

Emily Brady discusses a question long neglected in environmental aesthetics: on what grounds do we ascribe aesthetic value to wild animals? Recently Glenn Parsons has argued that this value is grounded in the "fitness" of animals in relation to their form, behavior, and traits. Brady contends that Parsons' "functional beauty" approach overlooks the important role played by expressive qualities in our aesthetic experience of animals. Drawing on expressive theories of music and discussions of expressive qualities in nature, Brady examines the distinctive character and basis of these qualities in sentient non-human creatures. She then address potential moral problems and objections, in particular, how aesthetic appreciation of expressive qualities is related to or distinct from sentimental, trivial, and anthropomorphic responses to wild animals.

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