Wordy Wednesday

An ambitious move, but as the subject is fresh on my mind from last nights dinner conversation, I’ll endeavor to touch on the definition of Beauty.

beau·ty /ˈbyo͞otē/ n.

Contemporary thought is inclined to believe that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The late Dennis Dutton, a philosopher of arts and author of The Art Instrict, presents a twist to the idea that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” to more correctly be that, “Beauty is in the culture’s conditioned eye of the beholder” (emphasis added). Likewise, Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined beauty, in part, in terms of being “intrinsic, and perceived by the eye at first view, or relative, to perceive which the aid of the understanding and reflection is requisite.”

In addition to societies aesthetic standards of beauty, there remains, and more importantly precedes, an intrinsic nature. After all, if Beauty were by principle merely a concrete thing, then it would be finite, as this quality of being is subject, by definition, to the biological affects of decay. However, it can be observed that Beauty exists outside of the laws of nature. Furthermore, in the event that Beauty was relative, it would be subject to change-a matter of opinion, rather than a true or false quality. This delusion of Beauty as being merely superficial is based on the misconception that beauty first manifests itself on an object, before in or of the object. On the contrary Beauty is not a concrete quality, but rather an abstract nature.

Beauty cannot be subject to change as it is a part of the transcendentals (Goodness, Truth, and Beauty). Meaning, in the event that something possesses the quality of Beauty, it is by default also Good and True. Just like a Good action is likewise Beautiful and True, so a True statement is also Good and Beautiful. Thus the philosophy of Beauty matters as it directly affects an individuals values in and of life. Likewise, as previously explained, affecting his or her understanding of Goodness and Truth, therefore governing his or her choices.



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