If there is a common thread that runs through all of the philosophies that have sought to define beauty, it is the fact that beauty is not an objective quality. However, that does not mean that there are no subjective aspects of beauty.
The ancient Greek philosophers, for example, saw beauty in the form and spirit of the world. Beauty could be defined by symmetry, proportion, colour and age. Some of these qualities are innate and others are more subjective. Often, when people debate the nature of beauty, they do so in terms of the social and political associations that have been associated with it.
During the twentieth century, thinkers struggled with the issue of beauty. They were uncertain about how to reconcile it with the rise of genocide and the wastelands of the twentieth century. In addition, political associations of beauty were problematic. For instance, in the late twentieth century, social justice movements often referred to the concept of beauty in the context of race and gender. While such political associations have often been addressed, they have been more problematic in other areas.
Aristotle, in particular, argued that beauty is a kind of perfect unity. He ascribed less danger to beauty than Plato. His theory was that beauty was an essential part of living things’ existence, but was only dimly apprehended.
Plato, in contrast, considered beauty as a manifestation of harmony. This conception was embodied in the neo-classical sculpture of the Renaissance and in classical and neo-classical architecture. It is also expressed in mathematical ratios. An example is the golden ratio.
Beauty is not a fixed quality, but a principle of unity. It exists in the mind of the observer. Observers experience it as a response to the object that evokes their pleasure. Moreover, it is the process through which art gives pleasure to the senses. When we consider the beauty of an object, we are able to connect that object with a community of appreciation.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, philosophers began to formulate theories about the nature of beauty. These approaches ranged from those that emphasized the subjective aspect of beauty to those that emphasized its objective character. Several theorists also attempted to address the antinomy of taste.
One of the most controversial discussions in literature is that of the nature of beauty. The question is not one that is easily answered, since it can lead to confusion and disagreement. Rather than attempting to give a definite answer to the question of beauty, this article will sketch some of the most important approaches to the subject. We will begin by defining what beauty is, then describe some of the major theories of beauty.
One of the most controversial issues in the history of philosophy is whether beauty is objective or subjective. Though most scholars believe that beauty is objective, the issue is still being debated. Ultimately, the debate is not between two groups of scholars, but between different viewpoints on the question.