Beauty has been defined in a variety of ways throughout the history of Western thought. It is often associated with pleasure, and is therefore a subject of discussion. As such, beauty has been subject to political critique. For instance, in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it became increasingly politicized, and was used in connection with race, gender, and economic power.
The classical definition of beauty is rooted in the early Western tradition, and consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole. This conception has influenced a wide range of artistic creations, including architecture, music, and literature. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that aims to explain the meaning of the concept of beauty.
Although the classical conception of beauty has been a fundamental and dominant part of Western culture, it is no longer the only one. There have been a number of reconstruals of beauty, both feminist-oriented and non-feminist-oriented, that have emerged in the last several decades. Naomi Wolf, for example, has written about the relationship between beauty and self-destructive behaviors. She has shown how the social construction of gender creates a gender hierarchy that limits women’s public image, and suggests that overturning this structure requires redefining the concept of beauty.
In addition to aesthetics, there are also social and moral critiques of beauty. Some philosophers have argued that it is important to understand the nature of beauty in order to understand the process of creation. Others have argued that beauty is simply an expression of pleasure. However, these approaches fail to account for the importance of a sense of purpose and integrity in the experience of beauty.
Another aspect of beauty that has been subject to political critique is its association with profit. Socrates, for example, believed that beauty was not related to appearance, but rather to the practical situation in which it was created. Therefore, he regarded beauty as a useful trait.
Beauty has been defined by many different methods, including by weight, colour, age, and gender. Popular culture has also been a major influence on how people think about the concept. However, it has not been a universally accepted concept. Over the past few centuries, the politics of beauty have become problematic, and have been discussed in social justice movements. During this period, many philosophers have tried to address the antinomy between taste and beauty.
Aristotle, for example, argued that living things must present an order in their arrangements of parts, and that beauty is a result of the harmonious arrangement of these parts. He ascribed less danger to beauty than Plato, and he examined beauty as a craftsman.
Berkeley, on the other hand, has a broader understanding of the concept of beauty. While he does not believe that there is only one form of beauty, he identifies three basic requirements: intellection, knowledge of use, and suitedness. The first requirement is integrity.
The second requirement is proportion. In other words, a particular object can be perceived as being beautiful at noon, but be considered ugly at midnight. And a third requirement is consonance.