Beauty is a word that has been used to describe many things. In its most basic sense, beauty is defined as something that pleases the aesthetic senses. While most philosophical accounts of beauty concentrate on the object qualities that make it beautiful, there are also a number of other aspects of a thing that can contribute to its beauty.
A good thing is made beautiful by its proportions, the symmetry and clarity of its components, and its integrity. Moreover, beauty must be in harmony with its surroundings. This can be achieved through a combination of the qualities of colour, weight, texture, and proportion. The golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are examples of geometric design that are considered to be beautiful.
Throughout the history of philosophy, one of the most pressing questions has been how we define beauty. Traditionally, the ancient Greeks and medieval philosophers saw it as a value that possessed ultimate importance. However, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a variety of approaches to the nature of beauty emerged. These approaches ranged from those that treated beauty as an objective quality to those that placed it within the context of human experience.
One of the most important developments in the philosophy of beauty came during the eighteenth century. The emergence of the idea of inalienable rights sparked a new era of confidence in human capability. At the same time, the rise of the Romantic movement marked a crucial turn in thinking about beauty. It questioned whether beauty was a subjective state or an objective quality.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, philosophers sought to establish a more objective concept of beauty. These approaches included the works of Plotinus, who placed it in the realm of Forms. Plotinus wrote about beauty in ecstatic terms. He linked it to an array of sensations, such as love, desire, and trembling. Ultimately, he conceived of beauty as an experience that connected the observer with the object.
Although a number of contemporary thinkers have attempted to clarify what it means to be beautiful, there has been a long-standing debate over the question of the nature of beauty. Among other things, this has led to controversies over the question of what constitutes the most beautiful.
Some philosophers, especially those in the hedonist tradition, have viewed beauty as an expression of the pleasure that comes from an object’s existence. They view a beautiful thing as an object that is valued in terms of its function or its value, or as a result of its relationship to the loving attitude of its creators.
During the 18th century, the idea of beauty also moved from being a mathematical concept to being a subjective one. Some of the most notable figures in this new direction were Edmund Burke and Thomas Aquinas. Both criticized the notion that beauty could be understood only in the context of its harmony. Similarly, George Santayana argued that the meaning of beauty was found in its enjoyment.