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Environmental Aesthetics

Environmental aesthetics, in the western philosophical tradition, has its roots in eighteenth and nineteenth century aesthetics, and its concern with questions concerning the aesthetics of nature. The theme of our aesthetic response to mountains, as you might expect, therefore looms large in these earlier writings. (Link to Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy entry: Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics)

Burke's A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful is a foundational text of environmental aesthetics, exploring our mixed responses of pleasure and terror to certain natural sights, including mountain vistas.

Here is a link to a course at the University of Alberta that combines elements of mountaineering and environmental philosophy

(Thanks to Tim Hankinson for this link.)