Beauty is a characteristic of an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, culture, social psychology, philosophy and sociology. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.
Ugliness is considered to be the opposite of beauty.
The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionary determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human’s genes.
The classical Greek noun that best translates to the English-language words “beauty” or “beautiful” was κάλλος, kallos, and the adjective was καλός, kalos. However, kalos may and is also translated as ″good″ or ″of fine quality″ and thus has a broader meaning than mere physical or material beauty. Similarly, kallos was used differently from the English word beauty in that it first and foremost applied to humans and bears an erotic connotation.
The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios, an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning “hour”. In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with “being of one’s hour”. Thus, a ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including “youthful” and “ripe old age”.
The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers from the pre-Socratic period, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. Ancient Greek architecture is based on this view of symmetry and proportion.
Plato considered beauty to be the Idea (Form) above all other Ideas. Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful (to kalon) and virtue, arguing that “Virtue aims at the beautiful.”
Classical philosophy and sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers’ tenets of ideal human beauty were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a “classical ideal”. In terms of female human beauty, a woman whose appearance conforms to these tenets is still called a “classical beauty” or said to possess a “classical beauty”, whilst the foundations laid by Greek and Roman artists have also supplied the standard for male beauty in western civilization. During the Gothic era, the classical aesthetical canon of beauty was rejected as sinful. Later, Renaissance and Humanist thinkers rejected this view, and considered beauty to be the product of rational order and harmonious proportions. Renaissance artists and architects (such as Giorgio Vasari in his “Lives of Artists”) criticised the Gothic period as irrational and barbarian. This point of view of Gothic art lasted until Romanticism, in the 19th century.
Astonishing beauty has been one of the most important topics of philosophy since antiquity. Even Plato’s symposium deals with how beauty affects people. In the philosophy of the Middle Ages, beauty is considered the “splendor of truth,” a quality of thought that depends on its correspondence with reality. In the modern philosophy then dealing aesthetics with the question of what beauty is. The inventor of the name of this philosophical discipline is Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-1762), whose Aesthetica(1750/58) opened a whole new field of philosophical work. Here, beauty is no longer defined as a property of objects, but as judgment of the mind.
In Plato’s Dialogue Symposium, Priestess Diotima explains to her interlocutor Socrates that every human being welcomes more beautiful bodies than ugly ones. The soul of a person is inclined to the beautiful. The beauty is interpreted as obstetrics: When a person carries heavy thoughts, so the beauty helps him to bring these thoughts to birth. Beauty has a fitting relationship with the divine and provides joy and openness in man. On the basis of beauty, Plato also explains his theory of ideas. First, a person loves a single beautiful body, later he realizes that beauty is also in other bodies. By the love of the beautiful bodieshe transcends the level of the physical and then prefers the “beauty in the souls”. Beautiful conversations are more important to him than physical beauty. Then he will discover the beauty in “activities, customs and laws” and realize “that all beauty is related”. The highest level is then the admiration of the general idea of the beautiful, which underlies all beauty.
For Baumgarten is beauty, the perfection of sensory knowledge. Similar to his philosophical ancestors Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Christian Wolff, he divided the cognitive faculties of the human mind into upper and lower faculties, into logical and sensory knowledge. While the logical faculties were the only means of gaining certain knowledge, one regarded the sensory knowledge with suspicion: on the one hand it was flawed, on the other hand it did not offer enough clarity and clarity. Baumgarten now argued that one to theClear and clear knowledge could only reach the intermediate step of the “dark” sensory perception. This should now be the subject of the new philosophical theory called aesthetics.
In the (theoretical) aesthetics, Baumgarten is concerned with the perfection of sensory knowledge (perfectio cognitionis sensitivae). The perfection of this knowledge is beauty, its imperfection the ugliness (§ 14). Baumgarten’s main concern is “beautiful thinking”. Its beauty is defined as the inner coherence of the thoughts as well as the coherence of the expression with the object and with itself.
The most influential philosophical definition of beauty in modern times probably comes from Immanuel Kant. The authoritative work is his Critique of Judgment (1790). Here Kant defined beauty as the object of a certain activity of judgment: the aesthetic judgment or taste judgment.
Aesthetic judgments, according to Kant, are based on private, subjective feelings of liking or dislike, pleasure or aversion. In that sense, one could think that beautiful is simply what we personally enjoy. Kant, however, notes a difference: There is no dispute about pleasurable things, because everyone feels that something else is pleasant and will admit it. Aesthetic judgments, on the other hand, are of subjective origin, but they are entitled to universal validity – anyone who judges the beauty of an object claims at the same time to make a judgment that others would have to agree with. Beauty therefore has the claim of subjective universality. Other than about the pleasant can be overBeauty and taste argue quite sensibly, since every judgment of taste presumes to judge the feelings of others.
The basis of this argument is the demarcation between the good, the pleasant and the beautiful. The good is something in which we have a motivated interest – we distinguish whether something good exists or not. We are also interested in pleasurable things, since the sensation of the pleasant is desirable to us (and we avoid the unpleasant). The good, the beautiful and the pleasant are based on our subjective feeling of pleasure, of pleasure as opposed to displeasure and displeasure. The judgment about the beautifulhowever, it is the only one that does not take into account (and must not take into account) the personal interest in the subject, otherwise it will be distorted). Therefore, Kant defines beauty in a famous phrase as “disinterested pleasure.”
Hegel deals with the topics of beauty and art in his three-volume work on aesthetics. He defines the beautiful as “the sensual appearance of the idea”. Thus, beauty can be realized primarily in art, which Hegel sees as “the middle link between the pure thought, the supersensible world, and the immediate, the present sensation.” looks. So art represents mental content (ideas) with objects of our perception (sensory form). The idea of the angel he appears as often as a boy with wings.
The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason saw a rise in an interest in beauty as a philosophical subject. For example, Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson argued that beauty is “unity in variety and variety in unity”. The Romantic poets, too, became highly concerned with the nature of beauty, with John Keats arguing in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” that
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, —that is all.
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
The Romantic period
In the Romantic period, Edmund Burke postulated a difference between beauty in its classical meaning and the sublime. The concept of the sublime, as explicated by Burke and Kant, suggested viewing Gothic art and architecture, though not in accordance with the classical standard of beauty, as sublime.
The 20th century and after
The 20th century saw an increasing rejection of beauty by artists and philosophers alike, culminating in postmodernism’s anti-aesthetics. This is despite beauty being a central concern of one of postmodernism’s main influences, Friedrich Nietzsche, who argued that the Will to Power was the Will to Beauty.
In the aftermath of postmodernism’s rejection of beauty, thinkers have returned to beauty as an important value. American analytic philosopher Guy Sircello proposed his New Theory of Beauty as an effort to reaffirm the status of beauty as an important philosophical concept. Elaine Scarry also argues that beauty is related to justice.
Beauty is also studied by psychologists and neuroscientists in the field of experimental aesthetics and neuroesthetics respectively. Psychological theories see beauty as a form of pleasure. Correlational findings support the view that more beautiful objects are also more pleasing. Some studies suggest that higher experienced beauty is associated with activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex. This approach of localizing the processing of beauty in one brain region has received criticism within the field.
Beauty in art is, among other things, a research topic in art history.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann developed from 1755 and especially in his 1764 published major work The History of Ancient Art criteria of aesthetics of the beautiful and identifies a classic style of art, which he elevated to the standard of his assessment. The search for the beautiful is the focus. His attempt at a history of style gives the ideal, the noble simplicity and quiet grandeur a context.
The philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) narrowed the term ideal to art: the task of art was the sensual representation of the absolute idea as an ideal.
Since modern times, the category of “beauty” has also been critically challenged for art. The “beautiful” is no longer the “splendor of the truth”, but on the contrary the “beautiful”, “flattered” (see also idealization (psychology)) and therefore “untrue”. The whole concept of ” fashion ” and “fashions” therefore gets the character of the “unfashionable” and “false” and therefore “inartistic” in terms of art. In extreme cases, a too beautiful, decorative work is called ” kitsch ” or ornamental item. Alternative aesthetics such as those of the ” sublime “, “ugly”, “interesting” or ” authentic”In the art of the modern age, increasingly replace the” beautiful, “from which one can no longer make and / or wants to be.
Beauty in music often depends on the success of images of cosmic harmony. A due diligence and perfection claim is formulated. Adequacy of the musical means plays a special role. In many cases, beauty in music is melded with developments from the spectrum of its own musical socialization. The “musical-beautiful” (Eduard Hanslick, 1854), which promises the art of music, is opposed to a reference to the noise, which was forced at least since the beginning of the 20th century and often caused uncertainty. The twelve-tone technique was created by Theodor W. Adornounderstood as denial of ideals of beauty and harmony. Music should also reflect world history. The musical aesthetics deals with the relationships between beauty and music.
Beauty plays an aesthetic role as an object of empirical research.
Central to experimental aesthetics is the analysis of individual experience and behavior using experimental methods. In particular, the perception of works of art, music or modern objects such as websites or other IT products is examined. The neuroaesthetics is a very young discipline that attempts to neuroscience, sense of beauty and art closer together. Neuroesthetics is part of experimental aesthetics.
The Evolutionary Aesthetics deals with the evolutionary origin and history of aesthetic sensation. Evolutionary aesthetics draws on insights from anthropology, archeology, evolutionary biology and cognitive science.
Beauty also plays a role in mathematics, because many mathematical objects are considered “beautiful”. These include fractals, Eulerian identity, the golden ratio, etc.
Ugliness is a property of a person or thing that is not pleasant to look at. In many societies the judgment of being considered “ugly” is equivalent to being unsophisticated, repulsive or offensive. Like its opposite, beauty, ugliness implies a subjective judgment and is at least partly in the “eye of the observer,” nor should the influence exerted by the culture of the “observer” be forgotten. Thus, the perception of ugliness may be wrong or short-sighted, as in the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s ugly duckling.
Although ugliness is usually considered a visible characteristic, it can also be an internal attribute. For example, a person can be considered attractive on the outside but on the inside unreflective and cruel. It is also possible to be in a “bad mood”, which is an internal state of temporary dislike.
The ugliness has its origin in the consideration of the “observer eye” and the self-esteem that develops in people when seeing the stereotypes of men and women agreeable to our senses of perception.
What is termed “beautiful” in an everyday sense depends to some extent on changing “ideals of beauty.” A more extreme thesis is that in the industrial societies nowadays only very slim people are considered beautiful, because food is abundant, while in other circumstances obese people who signal well-being through their fullness of body would be described as beautiful. However, this thesis fails because of the fact that a slim figure as an ideal in the Occident is far older than industrialization and general prosperity.
Recent research suggests that the sense of beauty has a distinct genetic component. The evolutionary explanation for beauty ideals is that perceived beauty correlates with evolutionarily beneficial properties. Experiments and surveys have shown that in all cultures, women with a culturally ideal waist-to-hip ratio are considered beautiful by the test subjects, for example in African regions with food shortages obesity with a pronounced hip and buttocks volume, Symmetry is perceived as beautiful and at the same time an indication of health. Also, there is evidence that regarding the beauty of facesgolden section exists. For example, a 36% of the face length between the eyes and mouth, and 46% of the face width between the eyes, is ideal. These proportions correspond to the average face, which also signals health, similar to symmetry. Some scientists therefore consider the concept of beauty as a cultural construct for a myth.
The characterization of a person as “beautiful”, whether on an individual basis or by community consensus, is often based on some combination of inner beauty, which includes psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, grace, politeness, charisma, integrity, congruence and elegance, and outer beauty (i.e. physical attractiveness) which includes physical attributes which are valued on an aesthetic basis.
Standards of beauty have changed over time, based on changing cultural values. Historically, paintings show a wide range of different standards for beauty. However, humans who are relatively young, with smooth skin, well-proportioned bodies, and regular features, have traditionally been considered the most beautiful throughout history.
A strong indicator of physical beauty is “averageness”. When images of human faces are averaged together to form a composite image, they become progressively closer to the “ideal” image and are perceived as more attractive. This was first noticed in 1883, when Francis Galton overlaid photographic composite images of the faces of vegetarians and criminals to see if there was a typical facial appearance for each. When doing this, he noticed that the composite images were more attractive compared to any of the individual images. Researchers have replicated the result under more controlled conditions and found that the computer generated, mathematical average of a series of faces is rated more favorably than individual faces. It is argued that it is evolutionarily advantageous that sexual creatures are attracted to mates who possess predominantly common or average features, because it suggests the absence of genetic or acquired defects. There is also evidence that a preference for beautiful faces emerges early in infancy, and is probably innate, and that the rules by which attractiveness is established are similar across different genders and cultures.
A feature of beautiful women that has been explored by researchers is a waist–hip ratio of approximately 0.70. Physiologists have shown that women with hourglass figures are more fertile than other women due to higher levels of certain female hormones, a fact that may subconsciously condition males choosing mates. However, other commentators have suggested that this preference may not be universal. For instance, in some non-Western cultures in which women have to do work such as finding food, men tend to have preferences for higher waist-hip ratios.
People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what is or is not beautiful. Some feminists and doctors[vague] have suggested that the very thin models featured in magazines promote eating disorders, and others have argued that the predominance of white women featured in movies and advertising leads to a Eurocentric concept of beauty, feelings of inferiority in women of color, and internalized racism. The black is beautiful cultural movement sought to dispel this notion.
Fatima Lodhi, a young diversity and anti-colorism advocate from Pakistan, claims that “Beauty comes in all shapes, shades and sizes”.
The concept of beauty in men is known as ‘bishōnen’ in Japan. Bishōnen refers to males with distinctly feminine features, physical characteristics establishing the standard of beauty in Japan and typically exhibited in their pop culture idols. A multibillion-dollar industry of Japanese Aesthetic Salons exists for this reason.
Beauty and Truth
Beauty is seen in mathematics and other sciences as an indication of the truth of a theory or statement. The connection between beauty (symmetry) and judged truth could also be proved experimentally. The psychological research has found that the processing liquid (processing fluency) is both beauty and truth judgments based on what might help explain why the beauty of a statement is sometimes equated with the truth.
Effects on society
Beauty presents a standard of comparison, and it can cause resentment and dissatisfaction when not achieved. People who do not fit the “beauty ideal” may be ostracized within their communities. The television sitcom Ugly Betty portrays the life of a girl faced with hardships due to society’s unwelcoming attitudes toward those they deem unattractive. However, a person may also be targeted for harassment because of their beauty. In Malèna, a strikingly beautiful Italian woman is forced into poverty by the women of the community who refuse to give her work for fear that she may “woo” their husbands. The documentary Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld explores both the societal blessings and curses of female beauty through interviews of women considered beautiful.
Researchers have found that good looking students get higher grades from their teachers than students with an ordinary appearance. Some studies using mock criminal trials have shown that physically attractive “defendants” are less likely to be convicted—and if convicted are likely to receive lighter sentences—than less attractive ones (although the opposite effect was observed when the alleged crime was swindling, perhaps because jurors perceived the defendant’s attractiveness as facilitating the crime). Studies among teens and young adults, such as those of psychiatrist and self-help author, Eva Ritvo, show that skin conditions have a profound effect on social behavior and opportunity.
How much money a person earns may also be influenced by physical beauty. One study found that people low in physical attractiveness earn 5 to 10 percent less than ordinary looking people, who in turn earn 3 to 8 percent less than those who are considered good looking. In the market for loans, the least attractive people are less likely to get approvals, although they are less likely to default. In the marriage market, women’s looks are at a premium, but men’s looks do not matter much.
Conversely, being very unattractive increases the individual’s propensity for criminal activity for a number of crimes ranging from burglary to theft to selling illicit drugs.
Discrimination against others based on their appearance is known as lookism.
St. Augustine said of beauty “Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”
Philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco wrote On Beauty: A history of a Western idea (2004) and On Ugliness (2007). A character in his novel The Name of the Rose declares: “three things concur in creating beauty: first of all integrity or perfection, and for this reason we consider ugly all incomplete things; then proper proportion or consonance; and finally clarity and light”, before going on to say “the sight of the beautiful implies peace”.
Source from Wikipedia