what is beauty?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
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Weight
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what is beauty?

Post by Weight » September 7th, 2018, 3:23 pm

Certainly not all beauty is subjective. Opposite sexes have evolutionary biases towards going after each other and it is ingrained in peoples and animals biology. Another type of objective beauty would be art that reflects a part of reality that people would find mesmerizing and natural (Mountains, sunrise, waterfalls, space). Not all beauty is objective though, seeing your child speak his first word or seeing someone happy who you care about can be beautiful to you but not somebody else. So beauty has both objective quality's and subjective quality's.
Definition for beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
I do not think that is quite a good enough definition for beauty though. If I had to define beauty I would say something more along these lines: Something that leaves reverence, awe or admiration to a person. Quality's of beauty are determined by the individual and past experiences but can be shared person to person and are not always subjective.
What do you think beauty is?

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Present awareness
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Re: what is beauty?

Post by Present awareness » September 7th, 2018, 11:50 pm

Beauty IS that which you find beautiful. It has nothing to do with consensus or whether anyone else agrees, for it is an inner feeling of awe or appreciation for some object.
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Burning ghost
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Re: what is beauty?

Post by Burning ghost » September 8th, 2018, 12:54 am

Generally speaking beauty is harmony, proportion and such. Certain qualities of what is beautiful can and have been analysed. This is why musical instruments work well together and helps us understand how the eye is drawn to certain compotitions by way of focal points.

Often enough there is a sense of beauty in science and mathematics when a formula falls neatly into place.

Beauty, it seems to me, is about complementing to form harmony. In this respect it explains the obvious subjective nature of beauty too. What compliments one person’s aesthetic sensibility causes discord in another’s. To see beauty in as much as we can in life is a goal I often remind myself to strive for - meaning to look at a smudge on a pane of glass and reach toward the hidden beauty within that image.
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LuckyR
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Re: what is beauty?

Post by LuckyR » September 11th, 2018, 2:40 am

Present awareness wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 11:50 pm
Beauty IS that which you find beautiful. It has nothing to do with consensus or whether anyone else agrees, for it is an inner feeling of awe or appreciation for some object.
While true, everyone knows subjective opinion is highly influenced by the perception of outside opinions.
"As usual... it depends."

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Hereandnow
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Re: what is beauty?

Post by Hereandnow » September 11th, 2018, 6:39 pm

Weight
Something that leaves reverence, awe or admiration to a person. Quality's of beauty are determined by the individual and past experiences but can be shared person to person and are not always subjective.
I like this, but a question like this is best taken up in a comparison with the familiar. beauty has, after all, in art, a very strange history, and the best I have come across is that beauty lies with form, a certain kind of form that has aesthetic rapture, to use Clive Bell's term. This kind of rapture is only to be explained in the occasions of it presence. I experience it in music, especially; Clive Bell was a visual arts kind of guy. It is an emotion, but emotions are various. I like Van Gogh because looking at much of his rural depictions/expressions (keeping in mind he is considered the father of expressionism) shows a profound sense of beauty of the natural world, and I am surely a fan of this. I wonder if it is, as you say, past experience that determines it, though one cannot deny that one has to have experience in the world to relate in any way to it. Once experience is brought to this extraordinary encounter, there is something within that responds. (The past is only the catalyst, one might say.)

Anyway, this reverence and awe, i would posit, is indicative of something "other" than what objective interpretation can afford. Sometimes aesthetic experiences are far beyond what is normal. Can drive one insane, thinking of Van Gogh; indeed, it could be further put that to truly understand the depth of beauty, one need go a little crazy.

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