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Durham University

The Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor DE Cooper

David E. Cooper (2006). A Philosophy of Gardens. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author(s) from Durham


The central question addressed in the book is why gardens are of such great significance to so many people. The early chapters argue that the appreciation of gardens cannot be reduced to that of art or of nature. Subsequent chapters discuss various 'garden practices', including gardening itself, and the relationship of these to 'the good life'. Later chapters examine the notion of a garden's meaning, and it is concluded that 'the meaning of the garden' is to be understood in terms of the garden as an epiphany of the relationship between creative human activity and the mysterious 'source' of the world.