Monday, April 28, 2014

Final thoughts on Foltz

The conclusion Foltz comes to at the end of his book are prescriptive in a way that is only appropriate for a religious audience.  Though it was insightful into the Eastern Orthodox traditions, Foltz was too dismissive of science to relate to a more general audience.  Being religious myself, I can sympathize with his reasoning for a spiritual aesthetic appreciation of nature.  However, to ask a secular culture to embrace that kind of thinking is unrealistic even more-so than Carlson's conclusion that science is the only path to appropriate appreciation of nature.
That being said, Foltz does give us points that should be considered when making aesthetic judgments of nature.  Seeing nature as an icon makes nature worth preservation and respect.  A significant part of Christian teaching is the respect of others in the world because they are made in the image of God.  If we see nature in the same way and extend this to all things (not just people) then the respect would be necessary for nature.  Similarly, Foltz's claim extends to all nature.  God created the mountains, forests, and swamp equally.  They all maintain the same right to be aesthetically respected a valuable for appreciation.  This makes his claim more universal than a landscape or object model.

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