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The idea of global beauty posted 31 May 2007, 16:05 by Sokar, Auditor

Here is something I have been wondering for a while always... While reading some aesthetic books (by which I also mean criticisms on social classes and their perception of art, mainly Bourdieu) I have come to wonder if there is something we can call a 'global beauty'. In other words, can we perceive something as beautiful, whether painting or book or music, as intrisically beautiful to the majority of the population of the world (hence 'global')... I'll start myself..yes there is something like global beauty, even though most of research denies it.. As I mentioned Bourdieu..his main idea is that there are several factors which define our taste (in [i:u4zgvltt]Distinction: As social critique on the judgement of taste[/i:u4zgvltt])..parentling, their income, your income, your class etc. and etc.. The list is very long! But he classifies them under two categories: economic and cultural capital. Due to this diversity, his research finds that every distinction has a predisposition for a certain taste in music, art, books, films etc.. In any case, although this is rather valid (his research is truly elaborate and extensive), I think he fails to see that some things can be deemed beautiful to a large proportion, despite the inherent differences in class etc.. The how.. Another Frenchman :D Baudelaire, defines beauty as mysterious, strange and evoking a sense of !unhappiness! This is something I have thought on for a while, and have to realise that beauty must evoke unhappiness to be beautiful. Such as love cannot be understood without feelings of being lost. Or as Khayyam said: "Love that does not kill, is not love." beauty must have related feelings to all..feelings of unhappiness, or some sort of tragedy... I am not mysself fully satisfied with this analysis, so I wonder what others think on global beauty... view post

posted 01 Jun 2007, 12:06 by Randal, Auditor

I don't think it exists. The majority of the world's populace has despicably poor taste. (where 'taste' is defined as 'likes the things I like and/or think admirable', though naturally the things I like are superior to the things others like.) Seriously. I think cultures and classes are too different for anything to achieve 'universal' appreciation. How large a percentage of the world's population would have to deem something aestethically pleasing for it to be deemed "globally beautiful"? And can you name some examples? What kind of thing would be enjoyed by all kinds of people? Definitely not music. Paintings? Not a chance. Statues? I doubt it. Human beauty? Absolutely not. Natural vistas? Perhaps your best bet. Maybe there are landscapes that would impress people regardless of culture or class. Still, there's plenty of people who don't care for that thing at all. And quite possibly some cultures in which the entire concept is seen as daft. I don't see it. view post

posted 01 Jun 2007, 21:06 by snapdragon, Candidate

short version, hasn't humankind since the time of Pythagoras found beauty in order, perfection, proportion, symmetry? Aristotle, Hume, Burke, Kant (and others, of course) all wrote very influential works about the topic including the discussion of "cause" and also humankind's conditioned responses that affect an individual's aesthetic judgments. but by-and-large aren't there basic images or ideas that are, independent of cultural conditioning, perceived as beautiful by humankind? view post

posted 02 Jun 2007, 20:06 by Harrol, Moderator

short version, hasn't humankind since the time of Pythagoras found beauty in order, perfection, proportion, symmetry? I would say that most people I have met would agree with that. view post

posted 06 Jun 2007, 06:06 by Jamara, Auditor

I think there do exist several examples of global beauty. But I think they are all nature based. I think if you took anyone from anywhere in the world and placed them in the Grand Canyon, or the Victoria Falls, or the dunes of the Sahara; I don't think anyone couldn't be moved by their beauty. But they are creations outside the hand of man, which is why I think man might be able to find a universal beauty within them. view post

posted 06 Jun 2007, 07:06 by Zarathinius, Auditor

I think those who referenced Pythagoras and nature were both correct. There exists a concept called "Sacred" or "Golden" Geometry, the idea that there are certain proportions that are inherently perfect or ideal (please, no tangent arguments about the use of the word "perfect"). Specifically, the Golden Ratio (known by way too many pretentious names), approximately 1 : 1.618, is believed by some to be the most visually appealing proportion for just about anything, and indeed variations of it can be found in nature. It is my belief that the garish colors that characterized the 1970's are considered distasteful today specifically because they were so unnatural. And who doesn't feel a little bit depressed when they see row upon row of suburban houses all painted the same color and to the same building plan, as they so often are? Housing that is built in one fell swoop does not reflect the natural growth of human communities that can be seen in old neighborhoods. So the concept of global beauty is more about familiarity than an inherent aesthetic sensibility. This is my personal, barely researched, and off-the-cuff opinion. Feel free to critique it until it screams for mercy. For that matter, feel free to disregard it completely. view post

posted 05 Jul 2007, 01:07 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

I agree with Zara, any global concept of beauty is going to be about what we are all familiar with on a biological and environmental level (familiarity). Like the feeling of coming home. I think that the beauty Baudelaire was talking about was what I would call awe, a combination of wonder and terror. Not all the time he used the word but sometimes. As far as beauty creating a feeling of unhappiness, it seems to me that humans have always considered the unattainable to be beautiful. The Gods, the Godhead, statues, etc. If it is out of our reach, then we can only admire it. And that is kind of depressing on it's own, isn't it? view post


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