The experience of beauty is not entirely contained in the skull of the observer. Rather, beauty connects observers to objects and communities of appreciation. The question of what makes something beautiful is a controversial one. Many philosophers have argued that art is the highest form of beauty, but others have rejected the notion altogether. The following is a brief analysis of some of the major debates about the nature of beauty. The first three were posed by Kant and Hume, both eighteenth-century philosophers.
Despite the philosophical and spiritual importance of art, the experience of beauty is a very personal one. For Santayana, beauty is a state of mind and an experience of the meaning of life. In this way, art, beauty, and play are subjective experiences. For Schiller, beauty is an experience that is experienced and understood by the individual, and not something that can be measured objectively. If you are a student of art history, this article is for you.
While the experience of beauty is subjective, the nature of beauty has been defined for centuries. Kant, for example, defined beauty as the object of pleasure. This distinction has been a defining characteristic of art since ancient times. This distinction is important to understand why we experience beauty, and whether it can be characterized as art, or a natural phenomenon. Regardless of its origin, however, beauty is a fundamental aspect of art. Its subjective value is based on how well-made it is and how well-presented it is.
While art and beauty are different, they are related. The arts and aesthetics were traditionally aimed at beauty, but that was not the case until the twentieth century. During that time, the concept of beauty was trivialized, causing artists to focus on more serious and urgent projects. Political and economic associations with beauty also contributed to the discrediting of beauty. In fact, Plotinus described beauty as a feeling of wonder, delicious trouble, longing, and love. In addition to the pleasures of art, beauty also includes an experience of delight.
Berkeley argued that beauty is not an immediate, sensible experience. It must be derived from an act of intellection and practical activity. The object of beauty must be suited to its use. The objects that are most attractive to us are those that are suited to that use. This is one of the main differences between art and beauty. Ultimately, beauty is what makes an object beautiful and worth the time and effort it takes to acquire it. If it can be described as an object of beauty, then it is beautiful.
In this way, beauty can be a tool of resistance and oppression. The slogan “Black is beautiful” suggests that counter-beauty is a response to oppressive norms and standards. Counter-beauty can arise from a new standard of beauty or a new pleasure. And beauty is not simply the absence of a flaw. Beauty is more than a social construct and is often a result of oppression.