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What is Beauty?

Discussion in 'The Arts' started by Nakosis, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    [​IMG]
    How do you define beauty?
    How do you know when something is beautiful?
    Beautiful art, a beautiful melody, a beautiful photo, a beautiful person.
    We know when something is beautiful but why is it beautiful?

    I suspect the reason is DOSE. DOSE is the four chemicals that influence happiness.

    Dopamine
    Oxytocin
    Serotonin
    Endorphins

    What you see, hear, taste, touch, smell triggers a combination of these chemicals to be released which causes us to feel pleasure.

    Just a junkie looking for another fix.
     
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  2. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    The chemicals don't create the perception of Beauty. They are the response to it, like the rusting feathers on are bird are the response to Wind.
     
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  3. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    hmmm. Happiness does not equal a sense of beauty.

    Why should the body react to any given perception, and how should it respond?

    Just a couple of preliminary thoughts...
     
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  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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  5. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Ok, I'm just saying it's the response that keeps us looking.
     
  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Happiness is a chemical concoction. Beauty is what triggers it.

    Feelings are our feedback system. A way of knowing what is good and what is bad. To motivate us toward the good and away from the bad.
     
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  7. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Caritas Christi Urget Nos
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    It's not something that can be truly described but you know it when you see it. For instance, I'm sure most people would agree that Classical and Renaissance art is much more beautiful than modern art.
     
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  9. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    We're biological beings who have evolved to recognize and respond to patterns of various sorts, some positively and others negatively.

    I suggest that what constitutes 'beauty' are patterns that we find favorable, and which tend to be more isolated or extreme examples of them.

    Edit: for example, the sunset in the OP: you could have hundreds of pictures taken of exactly the same landscape taken during a year at various times and conditions. Many would not be particularly beautiful. The one in the OP is perhaps beautiful because of the extreme in lighting.
     
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  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I can see beauty in many things. Some say they can see it in everything. I suspect they have managed to make the connection from what they experience to something good.
     
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  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    This was my first thought as well, but the why I thought intriguing.
     
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  12. Rival

    Rival Ankh, Wedja, Seneb
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    It's a weird thing. For example, I can see the objective beauty in the Statue of David. I can not say it's 'ugly' - but, not being attracted to the male form, it doesn't give me any particular feelings at all. Compare that with a sunset, for instance, that makes me feel nostalgic and even somewhat depressive, but I still find it beautiful.
     
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  13. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Caritas Christi Urget Nos
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    Same; I've always found the field of aesthetics to be fascinating and mysterious.
     
  14. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    I've been told by some people that I take beautiful photographs. Some even have my work hanging on their walls. Many ask me how I do it.

    To me, it seems that I am able to focus in on the aspects of the scene that will make an attractive or 'beautiful' image...that is, will inspire a response in the viewer.

    Does the beauty actually, objectively exist? I don't think so; I think it is a subjective response to a particular set of stimuli, which differ based on individual and social experience.

    I also think it entirely possible that while humans have evolved to have a sense of beauty (for example, symmetry of facial features), it may not have significant survival value. It could be an emergent property that we get to enjoy, without necessarily any benefit from enjoying.

    So, in a sense I think you can say that our sense of and experience of beauty is just the chemicals, but I think it's that is just the chemicals associated with the response, and tells us nothing about the response itself.
     
  15. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting point. It's possible to recognise beauty in something in a detached way without actually feeling it. That's not just reserved for physical attraction to the human form either. I might acknowledge that a painting is beautifully made but not feel any great need to give it more than a passing glance.
     
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  16. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Also consider how neurons know what to reward (reinforce with dopamine etc) and what is worthy of remembering. This could be where biology intersects with Mathematics which moves the question for me out of only biology and into the abstract.
     
  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    It rewards us with pleasure for something that generates life. Think of the chemicals released in sex.
     
  18. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
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    Beauty is in the Eye of the beholder.

    Beholder 02b.png
     
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  19. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Beauty is but one aspect of the arts. Not all pieces are aiming for beauty. Art can be interesting, challenging, provocative, shocking, questioning, amusing...and hopefully authentic.
    Art from a long time ago has the easy comfort of familiarity. Nothing from 1700 is going to shock us, because we've seen it all for 300 years.
     
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  20. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I think we can develop an intellectual understanding of beauty that we can recognize even if it doesn't trigger a pleasure response.

    While there exist some commonalities in what triggers this response in individuals there are also a lot of differences. One person may get a desired feeling from looking at David's statue, another may not. The other person looks elsewhere.
     
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