What Is Beauty?


Beauty is a philosophical term that is often questioned. Its definition can be ambiguous and there have been a number of different ideas concerning what beauty is. However, it is often a concept that has been explored in art and literature throughout the history of civilizations.

The early philosophical tradition sought to understand and quantify the nature of beauty. There were many disagreements regarding what beauty is and how it is measured. Aristotle, for instance, argued that the beauty of an object depends on the mind that views it. He also argued that colors are subjective, and that they are based on the mind’s perception of a particular color.

Later in the nineteenth century, philosophers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Aquinas made efforts to provide a more definitive definition of beauty. Hume, for example, argued that beauty is not a quality of a thing, but rather the result of a combination of taste and morality. His account of the beautiful is akin to the concept of grace. In addition, Hume criticized the idea that beauty can be tyrannical and he argued that it is important to accept an individual’s feelings and sentiments.

Another way to look at beauty is through the notion of composition. According to the classical conception, beauty is a matter of arranging integral parts into a coherent whole. This is reflected in classical and neo-classical sculpture, classical music, and classical architecture. Often, it is expressed mathematically. For example, the golden ratio, which is a Fibonacci sequence, can be used to determine the beauty of a line.

During the twentieth century, interest in beauty began to revive. Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti went against the traditional standards of beauty. Others, such as George Santayana, believed that it could be subjective.

Though there are some differences between ancient and modern treatments of beauty, they often pay tribute to the pleasures of beauty. For example, in the ancient treatment of beauty, the pleasures of beauty are often described in ecstatic terms. And in the modern, performance artists often explore the meaning of the female body.

Although a lot of controversy has been tossed around over the concept of beauty, it can be difficult to decide exactly what it is and what it is not. Some of the most interesting controversies have centered on how to treat the subject. Despite the controversy, there are often good reasons for controversies. Sometimes it is just a matter of convincing someone to take a certain position.

Modern day thinkers struggled with the question of how to reconcile the beauty of the world with the violence and wastelands of the twentieth century. Arthur Danto described this process as an “age of indignation.” While modernist philosophers such as Kant, Emerson, and Berkeley were concerned with the relationship between philosophy and morality, they were also unsure how to reconcile beauty with the wars and genocides of the twentieth century.

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, artists, thinkers, and scientists debated the meaning of beauty and what it means for art. They also debated whether or not the word beauty is valid.