IMAGINATIVE PERSPECTIVES IN THE NATURAL WORLD.
Sensory perception and aesthetic judgement
Bonaventure observes, "this whole external world must enter the human soul
through the doors of the senses," i.e., the first stage of our knowledge
about the world is sensory perception. However, the senses do not only perceive
and report to us their data about the world. They also react to perceived
objects with pleasure (positive reaction) or pain (negative reaction). This
means that some primary assessment, appreciation of, and passing judgment about
the quality of things takes places already at the level of the senses. Such
appreciation and judgment, being reactions to the beauty and order in the world,
are called aesthetic (from the Greek for "sense perception"). Thus
sense and aesthetic reaction become the primary evaluating faculties before the
intellect. According to Bonaventure, our aesthetic response (positive reaction
to beauty and order) also leads to the recognition of the divine origin of both
the world and our judgment about it. This step teaches us to appreciate nature,
as natural beauty is a sign of order and, ultimately, of God.
of Step 2, transl. by O. Bychkov
experience of nature
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Matthew, “In Harmony With Nature.” Poetry
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nature and God
Barbara. Nature and Culture: American
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Francis, Canticle of the Sun, pp.
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