A Short Essay on Beauty

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Beauty is defined as the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

However, beauty has been topic of debate in terms of its definition. In order to see what is special about pleasure in beauty, we must shift the focus back to consider what is special about the judgment of taste, which helps determine beauty in an object. For Kant, the judgment of taste claims “universal validity”, which he describes as follows:… when [a man] puts a thing on a pedestal and calls it beautiful, he demands the same delight from others. He judges not merely for himself, but for all men, and then speaks of beauty as if it were a property of things. Thus he says that the thing is beautiful; and it is not as if he counts on others agreeing with him in his judgment of liking owing to his having found them in such agreement on a number of occasions, but he demands this agreement of them. He blames them if they judge differently, and denies them taste, which he still requires of them as something they ought to have; and to this extent it is not open to men to say: Every one has his own taste. This would be equivalent to saying that there is no such thing as taste, i.e. no aesthetic judgment capable of making a rightful claim upon the assent of all men. (Kant 1790, p. 52; see also pp. 136–139. However, having said that, there is art and architecture around the world which provides universal appeal. For example, the Cathedral of Notre Dame could easily enamor a Hindu family, without them having very little or no knowledge of its cultural or religious significance. The Taj Mahal and the Statue of David could exude great amounts of sublimity to people of every walks of life. What is it in Art and Architecture that arouses such pleasure and...
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