Friday, September 19, 2008

Aesthetics


I will be very happy if I can successfully post this...

31 comments:

Mr. Plainview said...

Awesome! Creating new posts is fun. Woo! So...aesthetics. I think Doc's explanation was much easier to grasp, but I don't think these defintions are completely useless...

–noun (used with a singular verb)
1. the branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime, the comic, etc., as applicable to the fine arts, with a view to establishing the meaning and validity of critical judgments concerning works of art, and the principles underlying or justifying such judgments.
2. the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty.

It's the last bit of that second definition that really catches my attention. Is it the art or simply our mind that creates the emotion?

Mr. Plainview said...

I guess I should have written, "I will be very happy if I can post this successfully..." Shucks.

Ehren said...

I think that everybody interprets art differently, and something that is perceived to be beautiful to one person won't always be aesthetically pleasing to the next. Also, I think beauty can be derived from atypical sources, not always something designed to be ovbiously pretty.

michelle scandurro said...

Good topic, Plainview. To what extent does a culture's Weltanshauung influence it's definition of beauty?

michelle scandurro said...

And is this post related to the notions of ideal vs. real beauty?

El Paco said...

If I remember correctly, didn't Joyce (my favorite person) define aesthetics in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as something that is pleasing to the eye and something that creates desire for it...or something like that?

bballinsupasta said...

i totally agree with ehren...for instance, i think some pick up trucks are pretty...but some of my feelings result from appreciating their versatility...and btw i want a pick up truck because of its beauty

JP said...

So I have a question for all you smart humanities people.

A while back somebody told me that "everything is beautiful." I almost immediately said "no way" in response, until I started to think about it.

And now I'm not sure. Beauty is a really subjective thing, and I'm thinking that maybe you can't call anything objectively unbeautiful.

So... is there anything in this world that you can definitively say lacks beauty? What does this mean for aesthetics?

El Paco said...

Your face lacks beauty! BURN!

El Paco said...

And so does your mom!

El Paco said...

And so does your fac....awwww...

joel derby said...

But I think Brandon and Doc tried to explain that our subjective beauty is set by the cultural tones that we are raised in, So like Mrs. Scandurro said our cultures Weltanshauung determines our subjective beauty.

JP said...

What about my mom?

Caroline said...

I think that's a really good point John which kind of reminds me of the quotation that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or something like that)... Therefore, all beauty is subjective.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

i will agree that most "beautiful" things are highly subjective; however, arent there things that we all can agree are beautiful. i cant think of anything right now, but i'll get back to you...somebody suggest something...

Aaron Nussdorf said...

idea: mona lisa...?

Ehren said...

John,
Concerning beauty, I think that nothing can be completely, perfectly, beautiful, while at the same time the converse is true; nothing is completely ugly. Both both beautiful and ugly aspects can be found in everything.

Caroline said...

I think that, generally, there are things which most people agree are beautiful by our modern day standard of beauty, but I also think there are always people that interpret beauty in different ways. Also, different cultures and people from different time periods obviously will interpret beauty differently.

tmichals said...

I agree. For example, Nussdorf said Mona Lisa is something that everyone sees as beautiful. However, I have always wondered what people think is so beautiful about the painting. Like for instance, my favorite color is brown and I think that it is beautiful, but most people do not. Beauty is subjunctive and it really just depends on the person, but there are some things that people as a whole generally value as beauty.

JP said...

To pose another question:

John Keats once wrote, "Beauty is truth, and truth beauty."

I agree that the truth is often very beautiful, if only because it is usually so refreshing, but I wouldn't go so far as to say truth = beauty.

Any thoughts?

El Paco said...

Well if beauty is subjective, like everyone here seems to think, then truth isn't beauty. According to the subjective concept of beauty, both everything and nothing are beautiful. To me, however, the word "beauty" isn't manly enough, and therefore nothing is beautiful. The word beauty should be replaced by either "cool," "awesome," "hot," "mad ill," "wicked nasty," "stupid sick," or any combination of the words "mad," "ill," "sick," "bad," "wicked," "stupid," and "dumb."

JP said...

Or "the freakin' man"

Aaron Nussdorf said...

truth and bueaty exert a powerful feeling of emotion, insight or "knowledge" over us. each of us has our personal favorite piece of art, but again, i would suggest that we can all agree that some things are authentically and aestheticly beautiful [Michellangelo's "David"?].

El Paco said...

Everyone seems to think beauty is subjective, but I bet that in a hundred years or so, when postmodernist thought fades away is replaced by something else, beauty will no longer be considered subjective.

El Paco said...

Speaking of postmodernism, I think that this perfectly defines everything we've learned about it:

Interview with a postmodernist

Q: Why did you write this book?
A: That wasn't me. I am changed now. I have different views. It was another moment.
Q: You did write it. It has your name on it.
A: And what is a name? A collection of ink stains on processed tree bark?
Q: No, I think it's a...
A: a (article) - Not any particular or certain one of a class or group. Dictionary.com.
Q: Pardon?
A: This interview is not about Nanny McPhee. It's not about fire hydrants or scallion pancakes. This interview is over. Do you want to ask any questions? The interview has just begun.


http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

michelle scandurro said...

Alright, El Paco, then how do you explain that the ancient Japanese thought blacked out teeth in a woman was beautiful? Or that African tribe that elongates womens' necks w/ dozens of neck-rings to make them more desirable, or the Medieval European notion that a gap between the two front teeth was beautiful?

Beauty is not subjective?

El Paco said...

woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah. Woah - I never said it wasn't subjective. All I said was that of course we think it's subjective because we live in the postmodernist "era" (I can't think of a better word than era right now. A little help?)

Manal said...

I think beauty is subjective, but culturally certain aspects or traits would be considered beautiful to the majority because in their opinion it would be the right way to live, look, or behave. Agreements can be made about what is beautiful, but the notion remains subjective for the mere reason that everyone has opinions and unique feelings.
there are also times, that because of your emotion at that particualr moment, something looks pleasing. however, when the mood changes then the object loses its attractiveness. As long as people can change their emotions and what they are feeling, then I don't think that when postmodernism ends, the subjectivity of beauty will end. Because what one likes or dislikes is interelated to what one is feeling.

Mr. Plainview said...

I'm not going to say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," because I hate it when people say that. It annoys me. It's said all too frequently. I do, however, think that different people find different things beautiful. Generally, there are things many people will find beautiful. Also, I think culture has a great influence on the subject interpreting beauty.

Margaret said...

Everyone's pretty much said it. Some general things can be agreed upon as beautiful, but it depends on personal preference and cultural background, etc.

I dunno, but I think beauty--when it comes to the human form--is typically the form that is hardest to attain. Like in America, everyone's fat, so skinny is what we aim for. But in the past, plump was beautiful because it showed that you had money to eat well. For the ancient Greeks, the male nude as a muscled athlete was ideal because it's hard to get a body like that.

Isn't there a saying about the definition of worth? Something like, the amount of worth people put on an object is defined by how difficult it is to have? That varies for different people. As does beauty.

Margaret said...

And also, I don't think the Mona Lisa is beautiful. Never really understood why it's considered to be one of the greatest paintings in the world.