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The Concept of Scenic Beauty in a Landscape

  • Allan T. Williams
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 26)

Abstract

The concept of beauty has for many centuries been considered and debated by philosophers, e.g. Kant, Wittgenstein, Hume and Locke. It is an ephemeral word that conjures up different meanings in people’s minds alongside its counterpart ugliness. When the term is applied to coastal scenery the spectrum of measuring beautiful scenery has been a task that has occupied geographers, planners, etc. for at least a century. Beautiful scenery is a prime criterion for areas, such as, National Parks, Heritage Coasts, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but how is it assessed? Quality in a landscape is intrinsic in the physical quality of the area and is also a product of the mind of the observer, i.e. the scene looked at by an observer interacts with his/her perception of it to make a value judgment. If this is high, then the scene has beauty. Any landscape consists of historical, social and aesthetic aspects and this chapter concerns itself with these parameters, especially the visual aspect of the latter.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan T. Williams
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Architecture, Computing and EngineeringUniversity of Wales, Trinity Saint DavidSwanseaUK
  2. 2.CICA NOVANova Universidad de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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