What Is Beauty?

Beauty is a word that inspires many different emotions. It can make people cry, laugh, or think deep thoughts. Some people believe that there is no definition of beauty, but it is something that we all feel within ourselves. Beauty is an experience, not just a picture or a sound. Some philosophers have argued that beauty is subjective, while others have argued that it is objective.

Aristotle believed that the essence of beauty is harmony and proportion. He described it as the “aristotelian ideal”, and it is a concept that is still debated today. He also said that the perfect proportions of a thing must be in balance, but that it is difficult to achieve because the parts are often in conflict with each other.

Plato had a similar view of beauty, but he described it as perfection and unity. This idea is also a common theme in modern philosophical thought. The eighteenth century philosophers Hume and Kant both agreed that beauty is a judgement that involves feelings, and it is personal taste.

They argued that people often disagree about what is beautiful, but that great examples of beauty do emerge, and the opinions of those with wide experience tend to agree. They were concerned, though, that if beauty is completely subjective, it ceases to be a high value or even recognizable as a value at all across persons or societies.

The twentieth century saw a decline in the importance of beauty, perhaps because the rise of scientific knowledge forced a reappraisal of many ideas that were once seen as of crucial significance to moral life. In addition, a superficial understanding of beauty as a mere observable quality shared by supermodels and idyllic sunsets makes it seem trivial in comparison to other values such as truth or justice.

Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that we are biologically programmed to see beauty in the world around us. For example, infants have a tendency to look at faces that are more attractive than other faces. This is because their brains have not yet been corrupted by cultural influences like advertisements and celebrity images.

Moreover, researchers have discovered that certain parts of the brain are stimulated when we encounter things that we consider beautiful, and other portions are activated when we encounter ugly things. In this way, beauty may be a universal human reaction to a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. It can be a powerful stimulus for positive emotions such as love and trust, but it can also be a trigger for negative ones such as fear or anger. For these reasons, the concept of beauty is still a fascinating one to explore. Hopefully, the current debate will encourage new research and discoveries that will help us understand the nature of beauty. Maybe one day we will even be able to explain how the human brain perceives it. And, with any luck, we will be able to find ways to protect this precious impulse.