What Are They? And Why Do We Need Them?
Beauty is one thing that everyone can agree on, without exception. Beauty is the one thing that makes the entire universe unique and different from every other thing. The word beauty is derived from Greek mythology, where it came about because of the godlike qualities that the entire nature had. Beauty was associated with the aspects of the physical world. Beauty existed long before civilization and has always been considered an integral part of human life.
Beauty is generally defined as a particular feature of things that makes those things pleasurable to see. These things include sunsets, landscapes, human bodies and works of artistic art. Beauty, along with beauty and art, is usually the subject matter of aesthetics, one of the most important branches of fine art. Modern aesthetics, which are the cultural currents that pervade much of our technological and scientific cultures, have included beauty as an important part of our identities and culture. As a result, we see beautiful pictures and the creation of visual art all over the world.
The philosophical study of aesthetics developed out of two different approaches, namely classical aesthetics and modern aesthetics. The former school of thought held that beauty was the primary reality, and that all others were merely derivative or add-ons. For instance, a work of architecture might be regarded as beautiful because it is made of concrete, but not because it is well-built. In this way, the beauty and its component parts were seen as primary while other aesthetic elements were secondary.
The second approach, the late modern aesthetics, held that beauty was not the primary reality, but that the primary reality was its effect on the secondary ones. For instance, the artistic effect of a painting could be appreciated as a work of art, even if the physical form is a concrete brick wall. In this approach, aesthetic values are based on the purpose that the work serves, rather than on its own aesthetic qualities. Modern aesthetics thus oppose the philosophies of ancient aesthetics in favor of a more pragmatic one, the goal of aesthetic value.
On the other hand, the philosophy of true beauty may concern itself with the physical nature of something, without being commit to any specific form or composition. A work of architecture for instance, may be considered beautiful because it looks like a wall or may be admired for its structural features. It may worry less about what makes something look like a wall, or what makes something look like a brick, or any other thing, and simply base its aesthetic appreciation on the fact that it exists or does what it is designed to do.
Philosophy of aesthetics is very much alive today, with thousands of books and articles on aesthetic concepts and practices being published every year. If you are looking for an answer to the question ‘What makes a rose brightens up your face’, there is hardly a better source than a well-illustrated book on aesthetics. Books and articles on aesthetics are also commonly used as references for further learning, especially by students. Whether they address aesthetic concepts directly or indirectly, they are often indispensable guides for understanding the concepts behind the art and architecture we see around us everyday.