Aesthetic Principles and Your Perception of Beauty


Beauty is a concept that has captivated philosophers, poets and artists for centuries. It arouses, triggers, and stimulates reactions in the soul and mind of human beings that bring pleasure never before felt.

Whether you are an artist or simply a casual observer of nature, the question of beauty always comes up at one point or another in your life. As we grow older, our understanding of what beauty is changes. For example, it is not as important for us to be thin as it was in the past. Rather, being a strong, intelligent and kind person is considered to be beautiful.

There are many different aesthetic principles that are used to define ‘beautiful.’ In this exercise, you will explore a variety of these principles and find out how they affect your perception of beauty. Once you have completed this exercise, make an entry in your Notebook about it.

Principles of Beauty

Aesthetic principles can be broken down into three categories: harmony, symmetry and balance. Harmony refers to the way an object or subject works together to create a harmonious whole. For example, a painting can be considered beautiful if it has balanced colors and proportions. In addition, a painting that has bright colors and crisp lines is considered to be more beautiful than a painting that has dull colors and sloppy lines.

Synthesis of Aesthetic Principles

Some philosophers believe that aesthetic principles can be derived from natural laws. For example, the golden ratio can be used to determine if something is beautiful or not.
Others argue that a work of art can be considered to be beautiful when it has good design and composition.

These principles can be defined in a variety of ways, but most agree that they are based on the idea that something is beautiful when it has a certain amount of integrity. Aristotle says that a thing is beautiful if it is symmetrical and in a proper position. Similarly, Aquinas asserts that a thing is beautiful when it has integrity and perfect proportion.