A Brief History of Beauty


Among the many subjects that fall under the domain of aesthetics is beauty. It is one of the most controversial subjects, especially when it comes to the specifics of how we perceive it. There are several theories that have been thrown around. This article will briefly review some of the major approaches to the subject.

While some philosophers have argued that beauty is a useless gimmick, others have argued that it is a necessary component of a good thing. The definition of beauty can be subjective, or it can be objective.

According to the ancient Romans, beauty is the result of a process in which a person’s senses respond to an object. In Aristotle’s day, the idea of beauty was a philosophical conundrum. He thought that a living thing would only be beautiful if it were presented in a logical arrangement of its parts.

In his enlightening exposition on the subject, Aquinas was able to answer the question of how form and function can be simultaneous, thus allowing for the existence of beauty in the physical world. His explanation of the concept is typically Aristotelian.

The first requirement for beauty is integrity. This refers to the fact that an object can be seen as different colors in various conditions. The second requirement is proportion. The third and fourth requirements are clarity and consonance. The former refers to the fact that the same object can be perceived as several different colors at various times of the day.

The old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” echoes the sentiment. Although art can be beautiful, it should remain a matter of personal discernment. In the modern world, the term “beauty” has been diluted by political and economic associations. This has led to a plethora of game changers, artists who challenge the traditional rules of beauty.

In the nineteenth century, the classical conception of beauty treated the subject as a matter of relations between a whole and its parts. This concept has been reflected in classical and neo-classical architecture, music, and sculpture.

The modern era has seen the study of beauty shift from the ontology of a particular object to human faculties. Immanuel Kant was the first major philosopher to develop beauty as a purely autonomous discipline. However, Kant’s treatment of the subject has obvious hedonistic elements. Rather than defining beauty in terms of its value, he thought that it should be defined as an object of disinterested pleasure.

In the early twenty-first century, the subject was rediscovered. This revival, part of which was centered on the work of art critic Dave Hickey, was partially inspired by feminist-oriented reconstruals of the concept. The twentieth century saw the abandonment of the concept of beauty as the primary goal of the arts. This renewed interest in beauty was also fueled by a number of other cultural factors.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that while beauty may be a gimmick, the real meaning of the word is more difficult to pin down.