What is Beauty? | INFJ Forum

What is Beauty?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Ren, Mar 27, 2019.

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  1. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Hi guys,

    Lately I've been quite interested in the philosophical field of aesthetics, which is usually defined as "the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty." Which leads to the following question: what exactly is beauty? How do we understand it? People have an intuitive understanding of what the word beauty refers to, but tend to disagree wildly on how to define it.

    It would be cool to hear your thoughts and hopefully arrive at a satisfactory definition of what beauty is. :)
     
  2. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    /endthread
     
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  3. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    This only seems to complicate the matter by requiring a definition of truth, in addition to beauty!
     
  4. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    The caressing light, shimmering wind and sacred power of being
     
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    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Oooh. I like that. :)

    I've always thought that certain concepts were so basic/simple/primary as not to be open to definition except by means of metaphor. Maybe beauty is one such concept.
     
  6. sassafras

    sassafras Well-known member

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    Beauty is a harmonious expression of the elements which make up the object, concept or subject being viewed. It's when the picture in our minds lines up closely with what we perceive and vice versa.
     
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    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    @sassafras thanks for contributing!

    When you say "our minds", do you mean the human mind in general, or a specific person's mind? If the latter, it would seem to follow that criteria for beauty are subjective to that extent.
     
  8. Infjente

    Infjente Community Member

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    Truth is definitely more ugly that beautiful, that's why we lie a lot.
     
  9. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Is it truth itself that is more ugly than beautiful, or certain facts that happen to be the case?
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras Well-known member

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    Mind consists of the individual and his/her/their subconscious in addition to the superconscious which all of us tap into.
     
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  11. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    LMAO Touché!
     
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    Infjente Community Member

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    I suppose I consider it uglypretty. But what did Oscar Wilde say? The truth is rarely pure and never simple?
     
  13. Wyote

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    Truth and lies can both be prettyugly
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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  15. BritNi

    BritNi Perceptive Optimist
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    I believe that there will never be a universally agreed upon definition for beauty.

    Beauty is subjective. We observe beauty, but it cannot be measured or recorded; attempts to do so will provide inconsistent results between interraters.

    So goes the saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

    What one person perceives as beautiful, another may not. Some see beauty in the light, some in the dark, and some in between. Some may believe trauma and sadness are beautiful, while others disagree and seek it only in miracles and joy.

    It's psychological. It's cultural. It's spiritual. It's personal. Our perception is shaped by our experiences, and no two people will ever share identical experiences throughout their lifetimes. Similarities, yes. But even similar experiences are perceived differently in each person's mind. Our views, beliefs, interests, backgrounds, etc. are all factors which influence our interpretation of "beauty."

    I can tell you what I believe beauty is, but that would be irrelevant. It's my opinion alone.

    Perhaps beauty is not something external: something which we can see our touch. Maybe beauty exists within ourselves and coincides with our ability to see or find beauty in all things?
     
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  16. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Oscar Wilde is awesome, but I don't think what you are referring to here is truth in the sense in which @Hostarius / John Keats meant it.

    When we say that sometimes "truth is ugly", I think what we mean is that what's ugly is that certain facts are true. So it's not technically truth that is ugly, but the facts — which are the case. I can't see how Truth with a capital T could be considered ugly.

    I think the suggestion that beauty is truth is somewhat akin to @Pin's associating beauty with harmony; with the very fact that truth 'ensures' a holding, a kind of link between the world and what we say/think, rather than an absence of such a link (a dis-harmony).
     
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  17. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Facts are truth
     
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  18. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Ok, we can say that facts are "what is the case" (rather than embracing a 'weaker' understanding of facts as what either is or is not the case, as in OM).

    Still, "what is the case" is not synonymous with truth itself. It is true that I am French, yet my Frenchness is not synonymous with truth.
     
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    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    This suggests a Platonic position on truth, which I sympathize with, but has its problems.

    What about, say, the works of Basquiat? Dissonant/atonal classical music? Would you be willing to infer that those aren't worthy of being called "beautiful"?
     
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  20. Wyote

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