The Classical Conception of Beauty


Plato and Aristotle differ on the definition of beauty, but the classical conception of beauty treats it as a matter of proportion and mathematical ratios. For example, the sculpture ‘The Canon’ by Polykleitos could reproduce the ‘beauty’ of the human body in a dependable manner, but the two philosophers could not agree on how to define beauty. If beauty was a measure of satisfaction, it would be pleasure.

The subjective experience of beauty may also be linked to the value of an object. People may be color blind, while others may have a yellow cast to their perceptions of the world. This variation in color perception can be seen in the experience of beauty. As a result, people may see an object as different colors in different environments. While beauty is subjective, it is important to understand the meaning of beauty. The purpose of art is to be understood and experienced, not to be judged.

Classical conceptions of beauty refer to the relation between the object and its parts. A beautiful object provides a perceptual experience to the senses, which includes the intellect, the aesthetic faculty, and the moral sense. The essence of beauty is the qualities that give pleasure, satisfaction, and meaning to the observer. While the classical and hedonist conceptions may be similar, they may differ significantly. For example, Kant’s treatment of beauty resembles hedonism, while Plotinus argues that beauty is neither a good thing nor a bad thing.