Natural History Science: Fact and Value in Nature

Because today we tend to think that scientists deal with facts and artists with values, it is hard to imagine that they could hold the same views about the beauty of nature.

Actually, however, because artists and scientists had all taken the same kinds of art lessons, they shared a common aesthetic perspective and had no difficulty talking aesthetically with each other.

For them, the world was not value free. Fact and value existed together in nature.

Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872, Smithsonian Institution