Beauty has been a subject of criticism, resistance and oppression throughout history. It has been associated with female subjects and an idealized form of femininity. But in the twentieth century, it came under attack by political and economic associations. These associations drew the focus of attention away from beauty and toward other concepts. As a result, many artists abandoned the goal of beauty as a central concern in their work, opting instead for more urgent projects.
A number of theorists attempted to address this antinomy of taste. For example, George Santayana emphasized that experience of beauty is not merely visual. Rather, it can be profound. When an object evokes pleasure, we respond by recognizing its beauty. This response connects us to objects and communities of appreciation.
In the classical conception of beauty, a harmonious arrangement of integral parts makes a coherent whole. This is a definition of beauty that is still embodied in neo-classical sculpture, classical music and neo-classical architecture. However, this conception was altered in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The gender of the idealized female subject was altered at this time. Instead of being seen as an idealized, beautiful woman, women were treated as erotic objects.
Another way to define beauty is through the concept of fairness. The beauty of an object is defined by certain properties, such as symmetry. Other qualities that make an object beautiful are those that give it pleasure or provide it with satisfaction.
Moreover, beauty is a property of the world that provides perceptual experiences to the intellect and moral sense. In other words, it is a quality that gives meaning to things and a sense of satisfaction to our lives. So, when we find something beautiful, we may appreciate it as a work of art or as a part of a landscape. We may also appreciate its beauty as a practical task that we perform with special satisfaction.
While Aristotle did not believe that human beings have the power to create their own beauty, he did believe that they had the power to recognize it when they find it. According to Aristotle, the best way to judge an object’s beauty is to identify its aesthetic qualities. He said that living things must present order in their arrangements of parts.
The classical conception of beauty is embodied in classical literature and music. The idea that beauty can be perceived through sight and hearing is a defining feature of classical aesthetics. Although sight and hearing are the most common and suited senses for rational cognition, the other senses are equally important.
The notion of fairness has become controversial in the past few decades. Some theorists argue that it should be reconstructed. Others, such as Arthur Danto, have written about the abuse of beauty. Counter-beauty is a response to the use of oppressive standards of beauty.
In the twenty-first century, a renewed interest in beauty has led to reconstruals that are influenced by feminist-oriented perspectives. Such reconstruals have also been a part of the resurgence of interest in the arts in the last few decades.