Is Beauty REALLY in the Eye of the Beholder?

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Another set of thought provoking questions from Professor William Edelglass:

Is beauty a property of things out in the world, or is it really “in the eye of the beholder”?  To experience something as beautiful is to be moved, to feel a certain pleasure.  And we can sometimes say why something is beautiful. We can indicate the properties of a tree or a painting or a song that might lead others to recognize its beauty.  Thus, we act as if beauty is when we feel a particular kind of response to things, as well as a property of the object.  But when I experience beauty — say the glory of Palestrina — I never experience it as something which is relative to me. I feel it as something that others should also feel, that they are missing something important if they do not feel the pleasure of this particular beauty.  Can this dilemma between subjective feelings of beauty on the one hand and objective properties on the other be sustained? Or does one have to abandon one or the other to have a consistent understanding of beauty?

Check out William’s first post for an introduction and more questions!

– William Edelglass

Philosophy Professor

2 Responses to “Is Beauty REALLY in the Eye of the Beholder?”

    • Beautiful Minds

      You are supposed to “make something beautiful.” So it could be a writing contest. The “something beautiful” could be a poem or a short story. It could be a video of…just about anything. The “something beautiful” could be a beautiful photograph of something ugly or a cherry muscle car you restored that you take a picture of and send in. It’s up to you to be creative!