When we think about beauty, the first thing that comes to mind is the idea of symmetry and pattern. The symmetrical, patterned appearance of objects is often considered to represent perfect unity in many ways, including Islamic aesthetics and Christian traditions.
Almost every philosopher has at one time or another declared that the symmetry of parts towards each other and toward a whole is what constitutes beauty. This is the concept of unity that we’re referring to when we talk about ‘beautiful things,’ whether they are natural or artificial.
However, this conception of ‘beauty’ is not a universally accepted principle and is a recent obsession with classical aesthetics. It has emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Francis Hutcheson and Charles Batteux, but also more recently in the writings of David Hume and Kant.
In the eighteenth century, philosophers like Hume and Kant were concerned to find a way to explain why people often disagreed about what was beautiful. They believed that when a person or group of people judged something to be beautiful, they were attaching subjective states to it that are not at all consistent with reality. This was an important issue for them, because it meant that if beauty were to be seen as nothing more than a subjective state, it would lose any meaning in the world.
While Hume and Kant were concerned to avoid the tyrannical notions of taste that are often associated with the idea of ‘beauty,’ they were still conscious of the fact that beauty could still be an important value. And it was in this sense that they formulated an account of beauty that allowed for variance and volition, while at the same time allowing for the possibility of reasoned disagreement about what is beautiful.
When you think about it, ‘beauty’ really is about the experience of something that is pleasing to our eye and our intellect, and our moral sense. It is what makes us feel good and happy, and it is the basis of much of our pursuits and values in life.
Some examples of ‘beautiful things’ can include paintings, music, and landscapes. Other examples can be found in fashion, clothing and accessories, and even in the way that our bodies are shaped, colored or sized.
We can also find a lot of beautiful people in our lives. We can be attracted to those who are beautiful, or we may find them attractive because they seem to have a certain type of personality and style that we admire.
As a result, we may have an urge to change our bodies, try to fit into the mold of what we believe is beautiful. This can be a great source of frustration for some people, as they become upset and dissatisfied with their own bodies for not being ‘beautiful’ in some manner.
As with all aspects of our lives, we should strive to find what is beautiful in ourselves and in our world, while simultaneously trying to stay true to our values, morals and principles. The ultimate goal is to be able to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.