Beauty is one of the most debated topics in literature. The debate has been centered on the question of whether beauty is objective and subjective. Some writers have defined it as the principle of unity and perfection in the world. Others have argued that it is not a universally accepted quality.
Aristotle’s explanation of beauty is based on a theory of symmetry. For example, a line divided into two equal parts is considered symmetrical. In the same way, an object with varying colors at noon is considered beautiful. The symmetry concept is similar to the concept of the golden ratio.
Various cultures have different standards for beauty. Throughout history, many cultures have recognised the value of beauty. In the twentieth century, however, the values associated with beauty were politicized. In the 1990s, feminist-oriented reconstruals of beauty were popular. Some artists and critics were concerned with the ways that beauty is modified by culture.
Beauty is an important topic in philosophy. Various philosophers have addressed the problem. The eighteenth-century thinker David Hume argued that beauty is a subjective state and not a quality. He defended a humanist view that individual will is important. But he disagreed with tyrannical notions of taste.
Schiller’s account of beauty, on the other hand, is more oriented towards integration. He makes beauty the means by which we ascend. The experience of beauty connects us to objects that we appreciate and with communities of appreciation. The process of ascent starts with a perception of beauty in our bodies and a gradual elevation to incorporeal realms. It also leads to the beauty of character and the soul.
Aristotle and Plato both recognised the beauty of order. Aristotle recognised it as the symmetry of a thing, while Plato considered it as the idea of good. Aristotle saw it as the arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, while Plato recognized it as the symmetrical relation of parts to the whole.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, thinkers wrestled with how to reconcile beauty with the tumult of the era. Among other things, twentieth-century thinkers were challenged to reconcile beauty with the wastelands, wars, and genocide of the time.
The idea of beauty was revived in the 1990s, and some artists and art critics tried to make sense of how beauty is expressed in the world. Some critics were particularly interested in how the concept of beauty is used in the fine arts. Some artists have focused on reconstructing traditional poetic forms. This revival of interest in beauty coincided with the work of art critic Dave Hickey.
Although the ideas of beauty are not universal, they have been embraced as an essential element in diverse cultural traditions. This has made them subject to critique and moral analysis. But they have also been appreciated as the basis for cross-cultural recognition.
In the early twentieth century, beauty was identified with capitalism, but it also became associated with the aristocracy of the time. During the French Revolution, the Rococo style was associated with beauty. During the French Revolution, the idea of beauty was also sabotaged. It was not only that it was used to conceal the suffering of rich people, but also that it was an object of sabotage.