Visions of Aesthetics, the Environment & Development: The Legacy of Joachim F. Wohlwill

Visions of Aesthetics, the Environment & Development: The Legacy of Joachim F. Wohlwill

Visions of Aesthetics, the Environment & Development: The Legacy of Joachim F. Wohlwill

Visions of Aesthetics, the Environment & Development: The Legacy of Joachim F. Wohlwill

Synopsis

Derived from a conference honoring the legacy of Joachim Wohlwill, this volume is designed to reflect as many facets of the late scholar's wide-ranging work as possible. As its title indicates, the book identifies three broad areas in which Wohlwill made significant contributions: art and aesthetics, human-environment interaction, and concepts of development. In each of these areas Wohlwill made seminal contributions, helping to shape, maintain, and even change the direction of research and thought. Specific topics addressed here by his colleagues, students, and contemporaries include: the shape of development, the intermingling of perception and cognition, the balance between innate and acquired processes, the relation between environmental and ecological psychology, the development of the ability to use external representations of the physical environment, and the way world views underpin beliefs about the nature of development.

Excerpt

Roger M. Downs, Lynn S. Liben, and David S. Palermo

In many ways, Jack Wohlwill exemplified the ideal of an academic life. His career was characterized by the enthusiastic pursuit and sharing of scholarship, communication, collegiality, and creativity, the mentoring of students, and above all else, the sheer pleasure of the nurturing of ideas. At the same time, Jack's non-professional world was multifaceted: He approached so many things with passion and commitment. He was a firm believer in personal liberty and in the preservation of the environment; he was dedicated to music, to art, and to the Boston Red Sox; he believed in family and friendship.

While it is impossible to capture all of the aspects of even the academic parts of his life in a book, we have tried to reflect as many as possible in this formal memorial to a scholar. Our unifying theme is the idea of a legacy.

Legacies are gifts handed down from the past and, apart from his personal example, Jack's greatest gifts to us were ideas. We have identified three major areas in which Jack made significant scholarly contributions: art and aesthetics, human-environment interaction, and concepts of development. in each case, Jack Wohlwill made seminal contributions, helping to shape, maintain, and even change the direction of research and thought.

These three areas are a convenient but arbitrary way of representing the dominant emphases of the stages of Jack's career. of course, Jack being Jack, he continued to work in all three areas simultaneously. We have organized the book as a retrospective on the building of a legacy. We have chosen to begin with the area (art and aesthetics) with which he was most actively involved at . . .

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