Abstract: This paper explains how scientific knowledge is relevant to aesthetic appreciation of nature by drawing on Gadamer's observation that all understanding "is to be thought of ... as participating in an event of tradition." Allen Carlson argues that scientific knowledge enhances our aesthetic appreciation of natural environments. This is true, but not because 'applying scientific knowledge' is a step in a methodical approach for appreciating the beauty of nature. Rather, to experience nature aesthetically is a way to understand something about nature through understanding the tradition in which this experience occurs. Science is a crucial part of this tradition.
Abstracts from the International Association for Environmental Philosophy Annual Meeting can be found here.