The Philosophy of Beauty

Throughout history, the study of beauty has received a great deal of attention. The concept of beauty is often debated, with different perspectives on how it should be defined and interpreted.

Aesthetics is the philosophical discipline that explores the concept of beauty, its values and aesthetic qualities. It is a broad field that encompasses art, music and other forms of expression as well as the human body.

The term “aesthetics” is derived from the Greek word aisthesis, meaning “human sensibility.” Aristotle and other ancient philosophers began to discuss how humans perceive beauty. In the seventeenth century, German philosopher Immanuel Kant developed a theory of beauty that he believed was objective and univocal.

However, other philosophers disagreed. In fact, the debate over whether beauty is objective or subjective remains one of the most heated topics in the literature.

Many of the definitions and approaches to beauty stem from an attempt to reconcile or explain the apparent discrepancy between what people experience and what objective criteria would indicate as beautiful. These ideas range from the idea that there is an objective criterion for beauty to the belief that aesthetic pleasure is a purely subjective response to certain characteristics or attributes.

According to the traditional approach, beauty is the product of rational order and harmonious proportions. This was the basis of the golden ratio and is a common theme in architectural design as well as mathematical studies.

In theological philosophy, Thomas Aquinas emphasized that beauty was an element of the Second Person of the Trinity. In this view, God is the source of all beauty; He created the world with a purpose and in order to manifest His good will.

Aquinas enumerated three qualifications for something to be considered beautiful: integrity (integritas sive perfectio), harmony and clarity. The former referred to the fact that the object must follow its own internal logic; the latter characterized the degree to which it is realistic or surreal.

As an example, a realistic painting of a woman could not have integrity if it portrayed her with an extra eye, or if it violated the artist’s own rules of realism. A cubist painting of that same woman, on the other hand, might have integrity even if it was not realistic.

While there is no consensus on how to define beauty, it is generally agreed that a work of art must possess integrity in order for it to be considered beautiful. In addition, beauty is a reflection of the symmetry and harmony of a person or thing.

True Beauty cannot be obtained through surgery or cosmetics. It can only be achieved by recognizing and understanding your true self and living a life of giving to others.

Taking time to appreciate your uniqueness and finding inner peace and happiness will create a sense of genuine beauty that shines from the inside out. This type of beauty will not fade away or wash off with time. It is a gift you will be able to share with those who value and cherish it.