Beauty is Objective, Aesthetics is Moral
“The beautiful is the symbol of the morally good.” — Immanuel Kant
There is a common conflation between beauty and superficial attractiveness, a casual allure that pleases the physical senses. Although beauty can be assigned to more abstract artworks and its substance reflected upon more seriously, it is still considered philosophically inconsequential in comparison to its sibling topics of truth and morality. Perhaps, it is because beauty is so smoothly perceived that it is taken for granted by our contemplative faculties.
When we’re asked to judge beauty, or even just to think about it, the immediate axiom that comes to mind is typically, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The easy misinterpretation of this quote is to argue that the judgement of beauty is purely personal, that what one finds beautiful might not be so for another. This one-size-fits-all answer is appealing because it democratises th…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Pluripotent to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.