Sunday 29 November 2009

don't explain, don't exploit

You could argue that the environmental crisis is also an aesthetic one. In last night's BBC2 programme The Meaning of Beauty, philosopher Roger Scruton argues that things that are designed purely for their utility quickly end up as useless.

He quotes the early 18th-century philosopher Lord Shaftesbury in a Zen-like manner. Shaftesbury, he says,

is telling us to stop using things, stop explaining them and exploiting them, but to look at them instead. Then we will understand what they mean. The message of the flower is the flower.

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