Three Approaches to Beauty
Beauty is defined as an attribute of certain objects, which makes these objects pleasant to see. These objects include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and creative works of art. Beauty, along with personal taste and art, is possibly the most important theme of aesthetics, among the most important branches of psychology. Aesthetic perception is usually accompanied by mental processes associated with memory, emotion, cognition and the self, and the beauty concept may also be related to the idea of proportion.
The word ‘arte’ in French signifies ‘aesthetic’, while the word ‘critique’ originates from ‘criticism’ (as in ‘deceit’) and means ‘attribution’ or ‘approach’. Modern aesthetics scholars regard the word ‘beauty’ to be a subjective term, used to associate certain psychological qualities with visual qualities. Beauty, art, and beauty images are therefore not static concepts but are continuously changing in response to culture, time and social context. There has been a long history of attempts to define beauty, and the ideas and emotions behind them, through the lenses of philosophy, aesthetics, and psychology.
Philosophy is often seen as having started out from aesthetics, as the two fields share some fundamental ideas. Both philosophy and aesthetics start from basic notions of how the world around us is produced and its various influences, such as nature, man, and his social roles. They then proceed to analyze the role of emotions, instinct, and psychology in this production process. Beauty therefore can also be seen as an integral part of this philosophical study.
Over the last few decades, the field of Philosophy of Beauty has increasingly become a popular choice amongst both philosophers and laypeople alike, with renewed interest in both aesthetics and psychology. Philosophy of beauty is arguably one of the most important and dynamic areas of study in the field of aesthetic sciences. It has been theorized that we could say that aesthetics is a field of natural science that studies the appearance of things in space and time, with an emphasis on the study of the subjective experience of beauty. This approach differs from most other areas of natural science in the way it views beauty, as it is an empirical approach, rather than a purely conceptual one.
However, the study of aesthetics has many other dimensions, including different approaches to the discipline such as object-based and subject-based aesthetics. In object-based aesthetics, for instance, the study of beauty is more closely tied to the human aesthetic experience, considering how beauty relates to the creation of the visual culture through art and architecture. On the other hand, the field of subject-based aesthetics seeks to understand beauty from a more concrete point of view, by examining the cultural representations of beauty to support a particular interpretation or belief about beauty.
The three approaches to aesthetics outlined above are just a few of many that have been developed over time. Different schools of aesthetic thought lay claim to the title of “the” definition of aesthetics. It is a very broad field that continues to change with the changes within contemporary culture. Today, beauty has become an integral part of our culture, with people ranging from college students to Fortune 500 CEOs looking at the world around them to determine the value of a given aesthetic concept.