What Is Beauty?
Beauty is the experience of an object’s ‘value’. It may be a feature or the pleasures of the observer that make an object beautiful. In any case, beauty has a deep and personal meaning for the person who experiences it. And as a human, beauty may have no limits. The experience is not simply a subjective feeling but also an ‘invisible’ state that may be embodied through a number of ways.
Ancient Greeks admired beauty. The philosopher Aristotle described the chief forms of beauty as order, symmetry, and definiteness. His formula for beauty, which is still widely used today, can be found in the Golden ratio, which describes a set of proportions found in nature and is a key Socratic text for the idealist conception of beauty. Beauty may be expressed in a bright, happy, or enticing color, such as red or yellow, but it is not limited to this.
Santayana’s account of beauty was the last major account written in English for a while. Kant and Hume both stressed the importance of subjectivity and the need for heroic attempts to temper it. In the end, the idea of beauty is largely subjective and is not equivalent to truth, justice, or entertainment. But it is often difficult to separate beauty from other aspects of life. A ‘perceived’ beauty is a more powerful and compelling reason for aesthetic appreciation.
While the ‘art world’ deems a work of art beautiful, beauty is not a single attribute. It is a subjective experience that is based on the individual’s cultural preferences. Some people find a Michelangelo sculpture beautiful, while others may see an abstract painting as a masterpiece. But beauty can be subjective in any context. A painting, for example, can be viewed as beautiful by someone in another country.
Even a composite can be beautiful, but it must be beautiful in its details. A composite cannot be beautiful if the pieces are ugly. To create beauty in a compound, the beauty law must run throughout all of its parts. A sunlit sky, for instance, cannot be beautiful if its parts are yellow or red. A star is fair and the light from the sun is fair, but it cannot be beautiful if it lacks symmetry.
In a recent article, Alan Moore argued that nature is beautiful because diversity and regeneration are essential for its survival. And it is inevitable that our definition of beauty will change over time. But a human being will always have an innate sense of beauty. A computer will never be able to judge the beauty of a product, and a machine will never be a fully human being. In the meantime, AI will only help to improve the design of products and services.
The classical conception of beauty is the primordial Western idea of beauty, a concept embodied in neo-classical architecture, sculpture, literature, and music. Aristotle had a similar view, but differed from Plato by emphasizing the underlying elements of art objects. Aristotle equated beauty with symmetry and order. The classical view of beauty is the most widely accepted definition of beauty. It defines the attributes of an art object.