The Concept of Beauty


Beauty, in the Western tradition, is a primordial conception of the form of an object or experience that is organized in a way that accords with proportion, harmony, and symmetry. It is a concept that permeates classical and neo-classical art, architecture, sculpture, literature, and music wherever it appears.

Plato’s Account of Beauty

During the ancient world, philosophers and poets developed the idea of beauty in various ways. In particular, they tried to define and identify the different types of aesthetic experiences. The most prominent was the concept of ‘perfect unity,’ which characterized beauty as an arrangement of parts according to certain ideals. This underlying concept of beauty was later developed by Plato, and it remains an important aspect of the philosophy of art and beauty in the West.

Another popular theory of beauty is that it follows function. For example, a building must function as a building before it can be decorated to make it look more beautiful.

A good example of this is the famous quote from Louis Sullivan, “Form ever follows function.” This belief has been an important component of modern aesthetics and is still a popular philosophy today.

The concept of beauty has also been subject to moral and political criticism, and often it has been used as an instrument of oppression. This is especially true in the context of capitalism and the hedonist expressions of wealth and decadence it produced in art and design (Levey 1985).

To some extent, this was an effective strategy for suppressing the voices of the poor. However, the problem with this approach is that it did not necessarily result in a better society.

In the 20th century, some philosophers tried to break away from this concept of beauty and create a new one that was more closely connected to the individual experience. For example, Santayana argued that we should identify beauty as a certain sort of pleasure. This kind of pleasure is not an immediate sensual experience, but rather a more sophisticated one that requires intellection and practical activity to evaluate its suitedness for a given use.

This kind of thinking has been criticized by some because it doesn’t take into account how we perceive the beauty of an object or experience, which can differ among people. For example, some may see the Monalisa as a beautiful flower, but others might consider it to be ugly.

But this does not mean that the Monalisa is un-beautiful, it just means that we have a different perspective. This is why it is so important to keep our minds open and open to the possibility that we might see something different than our peers.

A woman’s appearance is an integral part of her overall identity and can affect how she feels about herself and what she wants out of life. But she shouldn’t let her looks dictate her behavior and choices. She should strive to be happy and feel grateful for her life, regardless of how she looks.