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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Plants As Objects: Challenges For An Aesthetics Of Flora, John Charles Ryan Aug 2013

Plants As Objects: Challenges For An Aesthetics Of Flora, John Charles Ryan

John Ryan

This paper presents the conceptual challenges to an aesthetic model of living plants based in embodied interaction with flora through smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. I argue that the science of aesthetics is deterministically visual. Drawing from theories of landscape aesthetics put forth by Carlson and Berleant, I outline four primary obstacles to an embodied aesthetics: plants as objects of sight, plants as objects of art, plants as objects of disinterestedness and plants as objects of scientific discourse. A multi-sensorial aesthetics of flora requires auto-centric proximity and degrees of intersubjectivity between the appreciator and the appreciated plant that raise ...


Plants, People And Place : Cultural Botany And The Southwest Australian Flora., John Ryan Aug 2013

Plants, People And Place : Cultural Botany And The Southwest Australian Flora., John Ryan

John Ryan

The Southwest corner of Western Australia has a distinctive culture of flora. In particular, the region is an internationally lauded destination for wildflower tourism. Aesthetic values inform the Southwest’s contemporary culture of flora and its products: photographs of flowers, botanical illustrations, taxonomic schemata and visually based landscape writings. In dynamic combination with sight, however, multi-sensoriality enhances cultures of flora through sensation. Hence, this thesis argues that it is vital to consider how bodily experiences deepen the appreciation of floristic appearances. Through readings of cultural, literary and historical sources, I propose floraesthesis as an embodied aesthetics of plants. The ancient ...


Anthoethnography: Emerging Research Into The Culture Of Flora, Aesthetic Experience Of Plants, And The Wildflower Tourism Of The Future, John C. Ryan Aug 2013

Anthoethnography: Emerging Research Into The Culture Of Flora, Aesthetic Experience Of Plants, And The Wildflower Tourism Of The Future, John C. Ryan

John Ryan

How does anthoethnography contribute to the development of understandings of aesthetic experiences of wild plants and wildflower tourism? As exemplified by the quintessentially aesthetic industry of wildflower tourism, the culture of flora represents diverse engagements between people and plants. Such complex engagements offer further avenues for research. The critical methodology of anthoethnography has been one such approach to circumscribing the values, practices and rhetoric of wildflower tourism. Interviews have revealed perceptual phenomena such as the orchid and everlasting effects as two counterpoised examples of the differences between visual aesthetic values occurring in the region. For appreciators such as Tinker, botanical ...


Cultural Botany: Toward A Model Of Transdisciplinary, Embodied, And Poetic Research Into Plants, John Ryan Aug 2013

Cultural Botany: Toward A Model Of Transdisciplinary, Embodied, And Poetic Research Into Plants, John Ryan

John Ryan

Since the eighteenth century, the study of plants has reflected an increasingly mechanized and technological view of the natural world that divides the humanities and the natual sciences. In broad terms, this article proposes a context for research into flora through an interrogation of existing literature addressing a rapprochement between ways to knowledge. The natureculture dichotomy, and more specifically the plant-to-human sensory disjunction, follows a parallel course of resolution to the schism between objective (technical, scientific, reductionistic, visual) and subjective (emotive, artistic, relational, multi-sensory) forms of knowledge. The foundations of taxonomic botany, as well as the allied fields of environmental ...


Plants, Processes, Places: Sensory Intimacy And Poetic Enquiry, John Ryan Aug 2013

Plants, Processes, Places: Sensory Intimacy And Poetic Enquiry, John Ryan

John Ryan

As an arts-based research approach, poetic enquiry has been theorised and applied recently in the social sciences and in education. In this article, I extend its usage to eco-critical studies of Australian flora and fauna. The Southwest corner of Western Australia affords opportunities to deploy arts-based methodologies, including field poetry, for celebrating the natural heritage of a region of distinguished biodiversity. I suggest that lyric practices in places such as Lesueur National Park and Anstey-Keane Damplands in southern Perth can catalyse embodied engagements with flora. The outcome of these practices is the invocation of the multiple senses— including the proximities ...


Leaves Of A Tree: Interweaving The Many Narratives Of Southwest Australian Flora, John Ryan Aug 2013

Leaves Of A Tree: Interweaving The Many Narratives Of Southwest Australian Flora, John Ryan

John Ryan

The narratives of plants offered by science, history, poetry, mythology and direct personal experience are often thought to contradict one another and are thus held as separate. Like leaves of a tree, however, the posthumous botanical works of nineteenth-century American naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau gather together the diverse stories that give meaning to plants. Drawing from the concept of multiple narrative streams as a method of writing natural history inspired by Thoreau, this article explores many accounts of the flora of the biodiverse Southwest corner of Western Australia. Botanical science, Aboriginal spirituality, nature poetry and colonial histories offer ...


An Unlikely Marriage: Theorizing The Corporeality Of Language At The Crossroads Of Thoreau, Heidegger And The Botanical World, John Charles Ryan Aug 2013

An Unlikely Marriage: Theorizing The Corporeality Of Language At The Crossroads Of Thoreau, Heidegger And The Botanical World, John Charles Ryan

John Ryan

This paper examines the relationship between language, particularly language that expresses aesthetic experiences of plant life, and corporeality. The theorisation of language is a keystone towards conceptualising participatory relationships between people and the botanical world. A comparative reading of the works of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Heidegger provides a framework for approaching language as embodied participation. Despite political differences, Thoreau and Heidegger shared a mutual conviction about the generative powers of language. Thoreau’s literary practice partly involved immersion in places such as swamps and forests. Fittingly, Heidegger’s explication of Rilke’s concept of “the Open” mirrors the ...