Document Type

Journal Article


David Publishing Company


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




Ryan, J. C. (2011). Plants as objects: Challenges for an aesthetics of flora. Philosophy Study, 1(3), 222-236. Available here


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 important philosophical questions about aesthetic experience of the natural world.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License