Aesthetic: In general, aesthetic refers to the human capacity to sense and intuit the world around it. The aesthetic is thus the domain of affective response to, as opposed to active cognition of, the surrounding world. As used here, the aesthetic relationship to nature is opposed to the instrumental control over nature; aesthetically conceived, the human relationship to nature is one of response to what our experience of it creatively discloses.
Source: ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11.