Professor of Philosophy

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Contact Information

Office: College Building 437C

Phone: (401) 454-6578




Biographical Information

Yuriko Saito, born and raised in Japan, received her BA in philosophy from International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan) and Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has been teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1981, where she received the Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999. Her research area is aesthetics with a focus on everyday aesthetics, environmental aesthetics, and Japanese aesthetics.  She teaches these subjects regularly, as well as introductory courses in philosophy.  Her work and what she gained from teaching at RISD resulted in Everyday Aesthetics, recently (2008) published from Oxford University Press.


Introduction to Philosophy
Social & Political Philosophy
Contemporary Moral Issues
Environmental Ethics
Philosophy of the Arts
What Is Art?
The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature
Issues in Contemporary Aesthetics
Japanese Aesthetics

Aesthetic Theories I and II
Concepts of Nature
Philosophy of Nature
Ecological Responsibility in Art and Design
Eighteenth Century British Sensibility
Just Society
Aesthetics of the Everyday
Landscape and Ethics


Curriculum Vitae .pdf

Recent Publications

“Cultural Construction of National Landscapes and its Consequences: Cases of Japan and the United States,” included in Humans in the Landscape, eds. Emily Brady and Sven Arntzen, (Oslo Academic Press, 2008)

Everyday Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 2008)

“The Role of Aesthetics in Civic Environmentalism,” included in The Aesthetics of Human Environment, eds. Arnold Berleant and Allen Carlson (Broadview Press, 2007)

“The Moral Dimension of Japanese Aesthetics,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (Winter 2007)

“Environmental Aesthetics: Promises and Challenges,” included in Aesthetic Culture, eds. Seppo Knuuttila, Erkki Sevänen, and Risto Turunen (Joensuu, Finland: Maahenki Co., 2005)

“The Aesthetics of Weather,” included in The Aesthetics of Everyday Life, eds. Andrew Light and Jonathan M. Smith (Columbia University Press, 2005)

“Machines in the Ocean: The Aesthetics of Wind Farm,” Contemporary Aesthetics (2004) (online journal)

“The Greening of Aesthetics,” Co-Gen (2004) (online interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the study of art and environment)

“Representing the Essence of Objects: Art in the Japanese Aesthetic Tradition,” included in Art and Essence, ed. Stephen Davies (Greenwood, 2003)

“Signifying Ritual: Landscape of Experience,” included in Mikyoung Kim Monograph, ed. Do-Kuen Jung (Grayson Publishing, 2002)

“Ecological Design: Promises and Challenges,” Environmental Ethics (Fall 2002)

Recent Presentations

“The Power of the Aesthetic” at the Eighth Summer School for the International Institute for Applied Aesthetics (Messila, Finland, June 2008)

“The Moral Dimension of Japanese Garden Aesthetics” at the University of North Texas (Sept. 2007)

“The Role of Rocks in Japanese Garden” at the Sixth International Conference on Environmental Aesthetics (Koli, Finland, June 2007)

“Awakening our Senses: Aesthetics and Design” at the National Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics (Milwaukee, October 2006)

“The Aesthetics of the Japanese Garden” at the University of Montana-Missoula (July 2006)

Two talks, “The Greening of Aesthetics” and “The Japanese Aesthetics of Packaging” given at Hampshire College (February, 2004)

“The Role of Aesthetics in Civic Environmentalism” at the Harrington Workshop on Civic Environmentalism (University of Texas-Austin, November 2003)
“The Role of Aesthetics in Ecological Design” at the National Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics (Miami, October, 2002)