What Is Beauty?


Aristotle was the first to give a philosophical definition of beauty, but it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that we began to see a systematic attempt to quantify it. The classical conception of beauty consists of the arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole. This is typically expressed as mathematical ratios. In addition to the geometric conception of beauty, there are several other theories of this aforementioned concept.

One of the more controversial debates is whether beauty is an objective concept, or whether it is a subject matter of experience. To understand what is meant by the latter, it is important to examine a number of competing accounts of this topic. There are those that propose a subjective view of the world, while others argue that the ‘beauty’ of an object is not in its physical appearance but rather in the pleasure it gives its owners.

Most of the early philosophical tradition sought to quantify or at least cite beauty as a measure of its importance. For example, in the context of aesthetics, the Golden Ratio is a measure of the degree of symmetry in an object. Similarly, the golden rule of symmetry is a guiding principle for a variety of different artistic endeavors.

There is also a lot of debate over what is the best way to measure beauty. Some say that the most useful is to take the best available examples and try to determine which ones are more pleasing to the eye. Other scholars believe that the most appropriate measure of a subject’s aesthetic value is a measure of its integrity, which is defined as being complete by interior logic.

A good way to test the validity of a measure of the relative importance of the different elements of beauty is to see if the corresponding model of the same object is used in a similar manner. For example, the golden rule of symmetry is to be considered in the context of a portrait of a woman with three eyes. Another model is the Fibonacci sequence, which represents the degree of symmetrical design in an object.

During the twentieth century, the topic of beauty came under a great deal of scrutiny. Among the reasons for this include the emergence of a new social and political context whereby aesthetic values became politicized and contested. Also, there were numerous instances of sabotage of the art world, such as the Dadaists placing urinals in the middle of a painting show. Throughout the period, the question of what is beauty in art was a vexing one, but one that was never answered with certainty.

There are several major approaches to the subject, which will be examined in the following sections. Regardless of your position, you should be able to find at least a few good suggestions for how to define and explain the concept of beauty.

Ultimately, though, it is up to each individual to decide for himself or herself whether the golden rules of symmetry are truly worth implementing. As with most of the other debates discussed in this article, it is impossible to make definitive conclusions about the nature of beauty without some experimenting.