Thursday, July 02, 2009

Objective Beauty & Diversity

The modern mind does not understand beauty because it thinks beauty is wholly subjective. There may be a sense where degree of beauty is subjective, but beauty itself is as objective as mathematics. If we understood beauty, we could as easily refer to the beauty of a math formula as of a painting.

A thing is beautiful because, and insofar as, it conforms to a certain standard of perfection. But it seems then that pure beauty could have no diversity. For example, if all persons were purely beautiful, they would all look the same since they all conformed perfectly to a certain standard, namely: absolute beauty.

But let's take the example of a circle. A circle is called beautiful insofar as it is perfect and has no flat edges; i.e. it conforms to the ideal and perfect circle. But there may be different sizes of circles all conforming exactly to the perfect circle. Albeit crude, this is an example of how diversity might be admitted while maintaining an objective standard for beauty. For a more complex example, a mathematic formula is said to be beautiful insofar as it is true. But there are limitless possibilities for true formulas and the diversity may be great. So there is an objective standard for beauty along with unlimited diversity.

No comments: