The Definition of Beauty
What is the definition of beauty? It is a combination of attributes that please the senses of sight and aesthetics. The qualities of beauty may be defined in various ways: age, gender, skin colour, shape and weight, and popular culture. In many cultures, these qualities are not viewed as important, though they are certainly factors that influence the perception of beauty. For example, some societies regard a face with symmetry as beautiful, while others define beauty based on its shape and colour.
In Greek mythology, beauty and love are linked. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, won the Judgment of Paris because she promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. Hence, beauty is a measure of love. However, aristotle is not a perfect judge of beauty, and there are some fundamental flaws to beauty that should not be overlooked. In this case, beauty can be more important than looks.
In the nineteenth century, beauty was associated with the aristocracy, and the Rococo style was an expression of wealth and luxury. Many Marxists felt that arts should expose the gloom of capitalism and inspire people to embrace a communist society. By the early 20th century, beauty became associated with capitalism, as the standards of beauty of aristocracy were distorted. As a result, great art was often dedicated to furnishing the homes of wealthy people and thus could obscure the miseries of the poor.
It is important to remember that the definition of beauty is never absolute. It depends on the observers’ emotional reactions. Hence, beauty can be defined as ‘in the eye of the beholder’, and the ability to discern beauty is sometimes called “the sense of taste”. The subjective and objective perception of beauty are often in agreement. But there is always room for differences, and this is especially true in the realm of aesthetics. Therefore, the definition of beauty is ever changing.
The concept of beauty is often associated with pleasure. This association was not mutually exclusive in the British Isles, where beauty was associated with pleasure. However, the concept of beauty was closely associated with pleasure, and Locke distinguished between the primary and secondary qualities of beauty. This era’s views on the nature of beauty was often based on color. In contrast, Kant and Hume treated color as a phantom of the mind.
Kant and Hume’s accounts of beauty stress the connection between aesthetic pleasure and the object’s value. They believe that beauty is an ideal form that enchants the viewer. In fact, they are similar in many ways, and Kant’s account of beauty emphasizes the notion of hedonism. While Kant and Hume both identify beauty as a pleasure, the hedonist conception relates beauty with function.
As Moore notes, “the notion of beauty does not reside primarily in the head of the individual who experiences it. It is a collective experience, one that connects observers to objects, as well as communities of appreciation. And this makes it incredibly important in today’s world, when political turmoil and climate change are threatening our existence. We should not lose sight of the power of beauty and seek it wherever we can. And what we find in nature is beautiful.