Beauty (unlike ugliness)

Beauty (unlike ugliness) cannot really be explained and it was also quoted that “Like a God (and as empty), it can only say: I am what I am. The path to beauty is what we are all trying to find and to follow. To define beauty as that which is sought, as it appears in imagination, is sufficient that everyone is seeking beauty, for it cannot be denied that everyone is looking for something and dreaming about it. To dispute taste is futile, because beauty varies for different people and for the same person.

The vulgar have their beauty, the lofty theirs. But the vulgar have moments in which they may appreciate another beauty, and so have lofty. Beauty is not entirely a personal affair, because the most subjective things are an objective part of human nature which is universal; as the hidden arrangements in one house are like those other houses. Ideas we take into our heads differ hardly more that food we consume. Seldom is there reason to suppose more individuality in our thought s than in our behavior and apparel.

We happen to have access to our own physical and psychical quarters, and can shut the door on the rest of the world; but there is no mysterious cleavage between this subjectivity or what is objective or out in the open. The sameness of human wishes in their most subjective state is made public on screen of the movie, in the human interest stories of the newspaper magazines and novels, in window displays and on billboards. Advertisers write the open text on aesthetics that all may read.

They know that men and women are enough alike to want the same things, to admire the same beauty; and they are so sure of this that on it they stake their fortunes. It would be idle to argue that each person has not a different idea of beauty, were not the illusion of uniqueness rather universal. According to Ames, people are richer or poorer in appreciation, but as, as in their belongings, they are luxurious or lacking in similar things, so that their very differences are same.

He added that, imaginations and predilections are as objective as hair and eyes, and equally dependent upon heredity and environment. Given a certain nature, education and experience, certain wishes will be inevitable which will necessarily reflect in appropriate beauty. Precisely because variation is rare it is magnified. Each person cherishes what personality he has, and is glad that in being conditioned to seek his own he can reject what is foreign to him and call it as ugly, though he is also happy to belike other people and to share their enthusiasm.

Later, religious thinkers believed that aesthetic experience was linked to the revelation of divinity in the world, the sense of the worldly beauty being a reflection of the eternal beauty of God. Similar to Plato’s view was the belief that some objects, most especially art, expressed God’s love and perfection more than others – or at least, the divinity was more easily glimpsed in some objects than in others according to Hagman. He also added that, it was not until the eighteenth century that a true psychology of aesthetic experience began to emerge.

Starting with David Hume and Immanuel Kant, these modern thinkers tried to explain aesthetic experience in psychological terms. The objective nature of “the good” and “the beauty of God” came to be replaced by psychological processes by which our experience of the world is given aesthetic qualities and values. Hume argued that aesthetic experience was associated with sensitivity to the association between a perception and a feeling. The particular aesthetic feeling s were those of refined pleasure, delight, awe, admiration, joy, and so on – in other word, the effects and passions considered to be special, positive value.

Hume believed that certain type of experiences, those possessing beauty, attained higher qualities in the formal expression of these feelings. Thus, for Hume, human’s sensibility and emotion replaced divinity and ideal form of aesthetic experience. Art, as opposed to natural sources of beauty, expressed certain associated feelings in refined and highly valued ways. Hume argued that a person could develop his or her critical judgment in aesthetic matters by means of experience and study.

He also stressed the need for the audience to keep “his mind from all prejudice and allow nothing to enter into consideration but the very object that is submitted to examination”. Hume claimed that the audience must be comfortable and without other intentions when viewing something aesthetically; this was one of the initial argument for the role of disinterest in aesthetic experience. What Hume was describing was type of empathy, an ability to put aside one’s normal position and needs and to “place oneself in that point of view that the artwork supposes”.

Thus, aesthetic experience assumed a special form of relationship with the object in which the audience members would approach the experience with benign neutrality and willingness to give themselves over to the experience without prejudice. Immanuel Kant postulated that aesthetic experience was a type of subjective judgment distinct from other human emotions, referring to this as taste. Essentially, taste was a type of universal and natural human capability similar to other modes of perception. As one experiences something aesthetically, there are sensations of pleasure within an attitude of disinterest. In fact, for Kant, taste was closer to reason than to emotion or sensation; it constituted recognition of a priori truths (such as beauty) in the concrete, “objective purposiveness”. Nonillusions and some Persistent Mysteries

One of the most curious phenomena that simply cannot be understood in terms of their primary cause sat the present time is the close relationship between certain mathematical series (e. g. , the Fibonacci numbers in which each successive term is the sum of the two preceding numbers) and the extreme vaguely defined cognitive experience we call visual pleasure or beauty. If each Fibonacci numbers is then divided by the one previous to it, this new series converges on what has become a magical number – 1. 615838…, otherwise known as the golden ratio.

The golden ratio appears ubiquitously in a wide variety of biological systems including the arrangements of seeds on a flower, the structure of fruits and vegetables, and the shape of the spiral shells of a Chambered Nautilus. Most interesting in the present context, however, is the fact that if an observer is asked to identify the width and height of the most beautiful rectangle, the usual answer is close to the golden ratio. They said that this phenomenon appears through the history of art with the pyramids, Greek temples, renaissance art, and the contemporary views of female beauty all showing evidence of golden ratio.

It is also observable in musical compositions. Thus, there appears to be a close relationship between a subjective aesthetic judgment and a fundamental number appearing in a mathematical expression. The problem is that this is a purely empirical observation; there is no theory of why these two domains should be linked in this manner. This mysterious relationship suggests, however, that mathematics and human aesthetic is intimately tied together for totally obscure reasons. Perhaps it is due to evolutionary forces of which we are only beginning to understand, but even this is the loosest kind of speculation.

Nevertheless, there are some well – established links that are considered. Aestheticians themselves are in surprising accord as to the nature of beauty and art. They usually agree that beauty is a value and that art is the means of realizing the value. They say that beauty lifts us out of littleness to understanding of the meaning of existence. In beauty we see the finish and finality toward which our efforts tend the poise to which our wobbly lives aspire. In beauty we behold our desire without ceasing to desire it, for the most satisfying beauty is the more it arouses longing.

In 1961, Robert Fleiss published an interesting elaboration of Freud’s sublimation model of aesthetic experience. Fleiss believed that in aesthetic experience, especially in the sense of beauty, there is a normal regression to an “early perceptory relation” involving the modality of primary perception,” which he conceived of as the combinations of perceptions of the labyrinth – outer skin, hands, and mouth unified into a single, nondistinguishable experience. According to Fleiss, in aesthetic enjoyment there is a muscular discharge of neutral energy.

Rather than cannibalizing the object, the person experiences emphatic introjections of it. Fleiss located the developmental level of aesthetic experience in the first oral phase prior to the mobilization of aggression that results in incorporative actions and fantasies. He argued that the sublimation of this neutral oral libido is “inseparable from aesthetic enjoyment” and includes muscular discharges involved in the “modality of primary perception” – “a modality that continues to function throughout life.

Thus, for Fleiss, sublimation is not simply a defense, but a normal aspect of the vicissitudes of libido that re essentially neutral during the first oral phase. It is the activity of this libido throughout life that accounts for the ubiquity of aesthetic experience. In an interesting series of case reports, Fleiss illustrated the relationship between sex and aesthetic enjoyment, and even argued for the simultaneous experience of both in mature, healthy sexual relations.


For centuries, beauty has been considered a feminine attribute, and its pursuit a feminine responsibility. In fact the word beauty itself reflects the intimate connection between beauty and femininity. Even the most recent revision of the Webmaster’s New World Dictionary has as one of it’s definitions of beauty “a very good looking woman. ” Thus we postulate that women’s preoccupation their appearance is consistent with the feminine sex-role stereotype. There are at least two additional aspects of beauty that may fuel women’s effort to emulate their culture’s beauty ideal.

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