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among other things, it would be hard to specify it. Rather, the image seems to
provide an occasion for appreciating Arcimboldo™s visual ingenuity and wit.30
However, if the viewer cannot find interpretations of the preceding sorts to
account for the point of the anomalous image, then the viewer is apt to take the
image as a proposal to explore it as a locus of heuristic value. Moreover, since tak-
ing visual images in this way is well-precedented in our visual culture “ recall
innumerable newspaper caricatures “ the viewer easily moves into this interpre-
VISUAL 367
METAPHOR


tive framework. Of course, for the visual metaphor to succeed, the viewer must
regard the visual image as an invitation to explore its heuristic potentials; other-
wise the image-maker™s intended communication lacks uptake.Thus, for the visual
metaphor to succeed, the viewer must come to regard it to be the case that the
image-maker intends her to take the visual image as an invitation to consider the
referents of the physically noncompossible elements and/or their related cate-
gories and concepts in terms of mappings onto each other.
Summarizing the preceding remarks: An image-maker successfully presents a
visual metaphor if and only if
1. she makes a visual image in which
2. at least two physically noncompossible elements are
3. saliently posed in
4. a homospatially unified figure;
5. the image-maker believes what the figure represents is physically non-
compossible and presents it as being physically noncompossible;
6. the image-maker believes the standard, intended viewer will believe that it
is physically noncompossible;
7. the standard, intended viewer does believe that it is physically non-
compossible;
8. the standard, intended viewer also believes that the image-maker believes
that it is physically noncompossible;
9. the image-maker believes that posing the noncompossible elements
saliently in a homospatially unified figure has heuristic value in terms of
potential mappings of the referents of the elements and/or their related
categories onto each other;
10. the image-maker intends the viewer to take the image as an invitation to
consider the referents of the physically noncompossible elements and/or
their related categories in terms of their heuristic value and the image-
maker also intends the viewer to know that she intends this;
11. the viewer believes that the image-maker intends her to take the image as
an invitation to consider the referents of the physically noncompossible
elements and their related categories in terms of mappings onto each
other.


I V. C O N C L U S I O N

I began by announcing my contention that there are visual metaphors. I have
defended this view by examining some objections to the very idea of visual
metaphors, and by indicating that it is not the case that being a visual metaphor is
an unremarkable feature of all visual images or, at least, all visual images that are
art. I have tried to show that there are visual metaphors by isolating a certain class
of existing visual images and by showing that they can be readily understood
within frameworks designed for characterizing metaphor.
368 ALTERNATIVE TOPICS

If my case is persuasive, then the existence of visual metaphors of the sort that
I have identified leds credence to the view that metaphor is primarily a matter of
categories and concepts rather than merely a matter of words. On the other hand,
I do admit that the range of things that my theory counts as visual metaphors is
probably much more narrow than the language of art critics and artists would
seem to demand.They call more things “visual metaphors” than I do. Neverthe-
less, it is my sense that even if further research shows that there are more types of
visual metaphor than my theory pinpoints, I have still managed to circumscribe
the most central and least controversial core cases of visual metaphor.




ON BEING M OV E D B Y NATURE : BETWEEN
RELIGION A N D NATURAL HISTORY

I . I N T RO D U C T I O N

For the last two and a half decades “ perhaps spurred onward by R.W. Hepburn™s
seminal, wonderfully sensitive and astute essay “Contemporary Aesthetics and the
Neglect of Natural Beauty”1 “ philosophical interest in the aesthetic appreciation
of nature has been gaining momentum. One of the most coherent, powerfully
argued, thorough, and philosophically compelling theories to emerge from this
evolving arena of debate has been developed over a series of articles by Allen Carl-
son.2 The sophistication of Carlson™s approach “ especially in terms of his careful
style of argumentation “ has raised the level of philosophical discussion concern-
ing the aesthetic appreciation of nature immensely and it has taught us all what is
at stake, logically and epistemologically, in advancing a theory of nature apprecia-
tion. Carlson has not only presented a bold theory of the aesthetic appreciation of
nature; he has also refined a methodological framework and a set of constraints
that every researcher in the field must address.
Stated summarily, Carlson™s view of the appreciation of nature is that it is a
matter of scientific understanding; that is, the correct or appropriate form that the
appreciation of nature “ properly so called “ should take is a species of natural his-
tory; appreciating nature is a matter of understanding nature under the suitable
scientific categories. In appreciating an expanse of modern farm land, for exam-
ple, we appreciate it by coming to understand the way in which the shaping of
such a landscape is a function of the purposes of large-scale agriculture.3 Likewise,
the appreciation of flora and fauna is said to require an understanding of evolu-
tionary theory.4

From: Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts, ed. by S. Kemal and I. Gaskell (Cambridge: Cam-
bridge University Press, 1993), 244“66.
BETWEEN RELIGION NATURAL HISTORY 369
AND


Carlson calls his framework for nature appreciation the natural environmental
model.5 He believes that the strength of this model is that it regards nature as (a)
an environment (rather than, say, a view) and (b) as natural. Moreover, the signifi-
cance of (b) is that it implies that the appreciation of nature should be in terms of
the qualities nature has (and these, in turn, are the qualities natural science identi-
fies). Carlson writes “for significant appreciation of nature, something like the
knowledge and experience of the naturalist is essential.”6
My major worry about Carlson™s stance is that it excludes certain very com-
mon appreciative responses to nature “ responses of a less intellective, more vis-
ceral sort, which we might refer to as “being moved by nature.” For example, we
may find ourselves standing under a thundering waterfall and be excited by its
grandeur; or standing barefooted amidst a silent arbor, softly carpeted with layers
of decaying leaves, a sense of repose and homeyness may be aroused in us. Such
responses to nature are quite frequent and even sought out by those of us who are
not naturalists.They are a matter of being emotionally moved by nature.This, of
course, does not imply that they are noncognitive, since emotional arousal has a
cognitive dimension.7 However, it is far from clear that all the emotions appropri-
ately aroused in us by nature are rooted in cognitions of the sort derived from nat-
ural history.
Appreciating nature for many of us, I submit, often involves being moved or
emotionally aroused by nature.We may appreciate nature by opening ourselves to
its stimulus, and to being put in a certain emotional state by attending to its
aspects. Experiencing nature, in this mode, just is a manner of appreciating it.That
is not to say that this is the only way in which we can appreciate nature. The
approach of the naturalist that Carlson advocates is another way. Nor do I wish to
deny that naturalists can be moved by nature or even to deny that something like
our nonscientific arousal by nature might be augmented, in some cases, by the
kind of knowledge naturalists possess. It is only to claim that sometimes we can be
moved by nature “ sans guidance by scientific categories “ and that such experi-
ences have a genuine claim to be counted among the ways in which nature may
be (legitimately) appreciated.
Carlson™s approach to the appreciation of nature is reformist. His point is that a
number of the best-known frameworks for appreciating nature “ which one finds in
the literature “ are wrongheaded and that the model of appreciation informed by
naturalism which he endorses is the least problematic and most reasonable picture of
what nature appreciation should involve. In contrast, I wish to argue that there is at
least one frequently indulged way of appreciating nature that Carlson has not exam-
ined adequately and that it need not be abjured on the basis of the kinds of argu-
ments and considerations Carlson has adduced. It is hard to read Carlson™s
conclusions without surmising that he believes that he has identified the appropri-
ate model of nature appreciation. Instead, I believe that there is one form of nature
appreciation “ call it being emotionally moved by nature “ that (a) is a long-stand-
ing practice, (b) remains untouched by Carlson™s arguments, and (c) need not be
abandoned in the face of Carlson™s natural environmental model.
370 ALTERNATIVE TOPICS

In defending this alternative mode of nature appreciation, I am not offering it
in place of Carlson™s environmental model. Being moved by nature in certain ways
is one way of appreciating nature; Carlson™s environmental model is another. I™m
for coexistence. I am specifically not arguing that, given certain traditional con-
ceptions of the aesthetic, being moved by nature has better claims to the title of aes-
thetic appreciation whereas the environmental model, insofar as it involves the
subsumption of particulars under scientific categories and laws, is not an aesthetic
mode of appreciation at all. Such an objection to Carlson™s environmental model
might be raised, but it will not be raised by me. I am willing to accept that the nat-
ural environmental model provides an aesthetic mode of appreciating nature for
the reasons Carlson gives.
Though I wish to resist Carlson™s environmental model of nature appreciation
as an exclusive, comprehensive one, and, thereby, wish to defend a space for the
traditional practice of being moved by nature, I also wish to block any reduction-
ist account “ of the kind suggested by T. J. Diffey8 “ that regards our being moved
by nature as a residue of religious feeling. Diffey says,“In a secular society it is not
surprising that there will be a hostility towards any religious veneration of natural
beauty and at the same time nature will become a refuge for displaced religious
emotions.”9 But I want to stress that the emotions aroused by nature that concern
me can be fully secular and have no call to be demystified as displaced religious
sentiment.That is, being moved by nature is a mode of nature appreciation that is
available between science and religion.
In what follows I will try to show that the kinds of considerations that Carlson
raises do not preclude being moved by nature as a respectable form of nature
appreciation. In order to do this, I will review Carlson™s major arguments “ which
I call, respectively: science by elimination, the claims of objectivist epistemology,
and the order argument. In the course of disputing these arguments, I will also
attempt to introduce a positive characterization of what being moved by nature
involves in a way that deflects the suspicion that it should be reduced to displaced
religious feeling.

I I . S C I E N C E B Y E L I M I N AT I O N

Following Paul Ziff, Carlson points out that in the appreciation of works of art,
we know what to appreciate “ in that we can distinguish an artwork from what it
is not “ and we know which of its aspects to appreciate “ since in knowing the
type of art it is, we know how it is to be appreciated.10 We have this knowledge, as
Vico would have agreed, because artworks are our creations.That is, since we have
made them to be objects of aesthetic attention, we understand what is involved in
appreciating them.11
However we explain this feature of artistic appreciation, it seems clear that
classifying the kind and style of an artwork is crucial to appreciating it. But with
nature “ something that in large measure it is often the case that we have not
made “ the question arises as to how we can appreciate it. By what principles will
BETWEEN RELIGION NATURAL HISTORY 371
AND


we isolate the appreciable from what is not, and how will we select the appropri-
ate aspects of the nature so circumscribed to appreciate? In order to answer this
question, Carlson explores alternative models for appreciating nature: the object
paradigm, the landscape or scenery model, and the environmental paradigm.12
The object paradigm of nature appreciation treats an expanse in nature as
analogous to an artwork such as a nonrepresentational sculpture; as in the case of
such a sculpture, we appreciate its sensuous properties, its salient patterns, and per-
haps even its expressive qualities.13 That is, the object model guides our attention
to certain aspects of nature “ such as patterned configurations “ that are deemed
relevant for appreciation.This is clearly a possible way of attending to nature, but
Carlson wants to know whether it is an aesthetically appropriate way.14
Carlson thinks not; for there are systematically daunting disanalogies between
natural expanses and works of fine art. For example, a natural object is said to be
an indeterminate form. Where it stops is putatively ambiguous.15 But with art-
works, there are frames or framelike devices (like the ropes and spaces around
sculptures) that tell you where the focus of artistic attention ends. Moreover, the
formal qualities of such artworks are generally contingent on such framings.16
Of course, we can impose frames on nature.We can take a rock from its nat-
ural abode and put it on a mantlepiece. Or, we can discipline our glance in
such a way as to frame a natural expanse so that we appreciate the visual pat-
terns that emerge from our own exercise in perceptual composition. But in
doing this, we work against the organic unity in the natural expanse, sacrificing
many of those real aesthetic features that are not made salient by our exercises
in visual framing, especially the physical forces that make the environment what
it is.17 And in this sense, the object paradigm is too exclusive; it offends through
aesthetic omission.
Thus, Carlson confronts the object paradigm with a dilemma. Under its aegis,
either we frame “ literally or figuratively “ a part of nature, thereby removing it
from its organic environment (and distracting our attention from its interplay with
many real and fascinating ecological forces) OR we leave it where it is, unframed,
indeterminate, and bereft of the fixed visual patterns and qualities (that emerge
from acts of framing). In the first case, the object model is insensitive; in the sec-
ond, it is, putatively, inoperable.
A second paradigm for nature appreciation is the landscape or scenery model.
This also looks to fine art as a precedent; it invites us to contemplate a landscape as if
it were a landscape painting. Perhaps this approach gained appeal historically in the
guidebooks of the eighteenth century that recommended this or that natural
prospect as affording a view reminiscent of this or that painter (such as Salvator
Rosa).18 In appreciating a landscape as a piece of scenery painting, we attend to fea-
tures it might share with a landscape painting, such as its coloration and design.
But this, like the object model, also impedes comprehensive attention to the
actual landscape. It directs our attention to the visual; but the full appreciation of
nature comprises smells, textures and temperatures. And landscape painting typi-
cally sets us at a distance from nature.Yet often we appreciate nature for our being
372 ALTERNATIVE TOPICS

amidst it.19 Paintings are two-dimensional, but nature has three dimensions; it
offers a participatory space, not simply a space that we apprehend from outside.
Likewise, the picture frame excludes us whereas characteristically we are
included as a self in a setting in the natural expanses we appreciate.20 Thus, as with
the object model of nature appreciation, the problem with the scenery model is
that it is too restrictive to accommodate all the aspects of nature that might serve
as genuine objects of aesthetic attention.
Lastly, Carlson offers us the natural environment model of appreciation. The
key to this model is that it regards nature as nature. It overcomes the limitations of
the object model by taking as essential the organic relation of natural expanses and
items to their larger environmental contexts. The interplay of natural forces like
winds are as significant as the sensuous shapes of the rock formations that are sub-
ject to them. On this view, appreciating nature involves attending to the organic
interaction of natural forces. Pace the scenery model, the totality of natural forces,
not just those that are salient to vision, are comprehended. Whereas the scenery
paradigm proposes nature as a static array, the natural environment approach
acknowledges the dynamism of nature.
Undoubtedly the inclusiveness of the natural environment model sounds
promising. But the question still remains concerning which natural categories
and relations are relevant to attending to nature as nature. It is Carlson™s view
that natural science provides us with the kind of knowledge that guides us to
the appropriate foci of aesthetic significance and to the pertinent relations within
their boundaries.
In order to aesthetically appreciate art, we must have knowledge of the artistic
traditions that yield the relevant classificatory schemes for artists and audiences; in
order to aesthetically appreciate nature, we need comparable knowledge of differ-

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