Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




As environmental crisis looms large, most agree that human reeducation is necessary in order to improve our relationship to the natural environment. Yet, there is currently no comprehensive interdisciplinary philosophy of education for environmental awareness. While there is writing in the field of philosophy of education on ecologizing education and literature which draws connections between aesthetic education and the appreciation of nature, there is little literature on the explicit ways in which aesthetic and art education can inform environmental justice initiatives. This dissertation examines aesthetic and art education’s relationship to the environment and how aesthetics can inform a moral relationship to the natural environment and nonhuman others. To do this, I examine theories of aesthetic education broadly and Kantian aesthetic judgment specifically, as well as scholarship and art forms that bring the arts and environmentalism together through the lens of educational theory. This dissertation employs philosophy of education as its primary framework but also includes analysis of aesthetic and art theory, as well as sociological analyses of the visual experience. I argue that in order to have a moral relationship with the nonhuman world, aesthetic sensibility ought to inform an education for environmental consciousness. Ultimately, this project brings the fields of humanities and aesthetic education into a co-contributing relationship with environmental education. This work aims to enlarge the discipline of educational theory to include study of human society’s relationship to the nonhuman world and to reimagine the connections between aesthetics and environmental education.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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