Whistler's Fog and the Aesthetics of Place


Place, Space, Aesthetics


The concept of place has usually been understood as either a phenomenological, epistemological, or ethical category. An understanding of place as aesthetic or rhetorical, on the other hand, tends to focus on the widely varied uses of the concept. First, I sketch out the wide range of uses of place, that have been drawn from writings on the concept. These uses are not definitions of place, but rather functions that the term performs. Place stands in for other ideas, and allows access to different aspects of human experience. Second, I will draw from this range of uses some ideas about the aesthetics of place, that is, the ways in which the picture that has been painted of the state of place research produces some surprising results. Finally, I will try to address some objections to or limitations of the idea of place.

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