This article presents a general conception of aesthetic experience built on an analysis of the relationship between the narrative and the ambient dimensions of the aesthetic value of a natural environment, the forest. First of all, the two dimensions are presented with respect to the possibilities and problems raised by distinguishing between them. Next, the possibilities of their relationship are analysed and it is argued that they are strongly complementary. This complementarity becomes the core of the proposed conception of aesthetic experience, which can explain the difference between the aesthetic and the non-aesthetic, and can also provide an answer to the question of the non-reductive differentiation between the aesthetic experience of nature and the experience of a work of art. The conclusion of the article is mainly concerned to eliminate one of the problems localized in presenting the ambient dimension (the ambience paradox), by means of Ricoeur's conception of the relationship between time and narrative.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.