The concept of beauty has been a central one all through human history. Ancient philosophers pondered the question of how to most accurately quantify it. Those things that bring joy and contentment together are what we call beautiful. Individuals have different standards by which they judge attractiveness.
According to classical ideals, beauty is a function of harmony between the whole and its parts. To illustrate, a beautiful line is one that can be divided into two unequal parts. Euclid attributes aesthetic appeal to the ratio and symmetry principles. Aesthetically pleasing qualities, such as the color white, are another definition of beauty.
Aesthetic appreciation is a multi-sensory process that requires an individual to feel something before they can judge its aesthetic value. You can use your imagination to create anything from a beautiful house to a complex theorem in algebra to an appreciation of the beauty of a nautilus shell.
An aesthetic outlook may be held toward any form of expression, whether it be live performance, film, dance, music, or art. Attempts by twentieth-century philosophers to explain how we can appreciate beauty in the midst of so much death and destruction proved fruitless. Aquinas elaborated on how beauty can be present in the physical world beyond its subjective and objective aspects.
A society’s cultural norms shape its perception of beauty’s objective qualities. Hawaii’s landscape, for instance, is distinctly different from Cezanne’s paintings. A work of art’s value influences how we perceive its aesthetic quality. That’s why it’s so important to examine the function of aesthetics in the current climate crisis.
In these times of political upheaval and environmental upheaval, the importance of appreciating aesthetic value cannot be overstated. Our senses are captivated by the beauty of molecules, and our imaginations are sparked by the complexity of life on Earth. Beauty not only gives us pleasure when we take in its splendor, but it can also enrich our minds through sensory experience.
A photograph of a breathtaking landscape or a telescopic image of a spiraling galaxy, for instance, both qualify as works of art. A magnified view of nautilus shells is another visual representation of the concept of beauty. Although there are various standards by which attractiveness may be judged, one thing must always be remembered:
The ancient Greeks had a great deal to say about the concept of beauty. It’s the concept of making everything in your life nice and even and neat. God’s goodness is on full display in this. God’s perfection is reflected in His creations, which are exquisite.
The pursuit of scientific knowledge can also be a mirror of one’s aesthetic outlook. The arrangement of leaves on a plant’s stem displays a stunning arithmetic pattern. The construction method of a building is another example. Before the building can be decorated, it needs to serve its purpose.
In his essay “An Essay on the Moral, Political, and Literary” (1758), David Hume defined beauty for his readers. He argued that people shouldn’t be forced to conform to preconceived notions of taste and instead should follow their own gut instinct.