Beauty

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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 20th, 2019, 5:45 pm 

Nick_A » March 20th, 2019, 3:45 pm wrote:IYO is Simone just indulging in fantasy or does something in her being drawn to remember what has been forgotten?

I've never met the woman. Whatever she indulged in, it's none of my business. Nor yours, neither, TBH. But what the hay - what with the bluejays, etc. Okay. Here we go.

"Beauty is the only finality here below.

Below what? More final than death? I've seen corpses and they hardly ever are.
As Kant said very aptly

Oy-vey, here's another one can't just pronounce an opinion without quoting a self-appointed authority!
, it is a finality which involves no objective.

In the case of natural phenomena, it is simply a property of an object that, for some reason, appeals to human senses. Very often, it has a perfectly mundane objective: to attract pollinators, mates or prey. Our ignorance of the utility of something, or our indifference to it, is not proof that the thing has no objective of its own. In the case of man-made beauty, we can tell very easily what its objective was.
A beautiful thing involves no good except itself, in its totality, as it appears to us.

Anthropocentric piffle!
We are drawn toward it without knowing what to ask of it.

Rarely true. The human's most common response, following admiration, is acquisition-lust. What we generally ask of it is: "Come home with me, okay?"
It offers its own existence.

It offers nothing. We take - one way or another. In the most benign case, only the memory.
... We want to get behind beauty, but it is only a surface.

Who, "we"? If you seriously want to get behind it, you study and learn. If not, just stand there till the feeling goes away. It does. Something shinier will catch your eye in a minute.
It is like a mirror that sends us back our own desire for goodness.

That's nice. Be nicer if she actually believed it.
It is a sphinx, an enigma, a mystery which is painfully tantalizing. We should like to feed upon it, but it is only something to look at; it appears only from a certain distance.

That big stone sculpture got its face bashed in by a religious fanatic? Its worshipers were feeding on the wrong deity. That happens quite often. The golden calf must have been pretty, too.
The great trouble in human life is that looking and eating are two different operations. Only beyond the sky, in the country inhabited by God, are they one and the same operation. ... It may be that vice, depravity and crime are nearly always ... in their essence, attempts to eat beauty, to eat what we should only look at." ~ Simone Weil

So... not desiring goodness? People are crazy? Not an astounding revelation, and it is stunningly uninformative regarding the properties of beautiful things as well as the human aesthetic sense.

Poetic, though.
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Re: Beauty

Postby charon on March 20th, 2019, 6:23 pm 

Nick -

The idea is that we are unable to experience the form or idea of beauty.


I don't understand that. Of course we can perceive beauty.

What we call beautiful is an opinion


Is that all there is to beauty? To see something that takes oneself away is no opinion.

the idea, the reality or form of beauty is behind what we call beautiful.


There's a complete difference between an idea and reality. The idea of something is not that thing.

But let's say we think a building is beautiful. Is the beauty just the bricks and mortar or something else entirely?
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Re: Beauty

Postby Nick_A on March 20th, 2019, 7:33 pm 

charon » March 20th, 2019, 6:23 pm wrote:Nick -

The idea is that we are unable to experience the form or idea of beauty.


I don't understand that. Of course we can perceive beauty.

What we call beautiful is an opinion


Is that all there is to beauty? To see something that takes oneself away is no opinion.

the idea, the reality or form of beauty is behind what we call beautiful.


There's a complete difference between an idea and reality. The idea of something is not that thing.

But let's say we think a building is beautiful. Is the beauty just the bricks and mortar or something else entirely?


This is hard to explain which I feel totally unqualified to do but trying by better organizing my thoughts is good practice for me.

I distinguish between consciousness and contents of consciousness. IMO all we know are our conscious experiences of the external world. We can consciously experience a tree which is a content of consciousness. But we don't know what consciousness is that enables the conscious experience. Coinsciousness is what makes the experience of contents of consciousness possible.

The form of beauty and the experience of beautiful things is the same idea. We call things beautiful but are unable to experience the form of beauty which makes the experience possible. Doing so is a conscious potential for human being but as we are we re limited to intuitively feeling the potential for the form of beauty but incapable of consciously experiencing the form.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 20th, 2019, 8:06 pm 

Nick_A » March 20th, 2019, 6:33 pm wrote: We can consciously experience a tree which is a content of consciousness.

Neither. We can consciously experience seeing a tree, touching a tree, smelling the sap and flowers, tasting the fruit, hearing the branches creak and leaves flutter in the wind. We can form a multi-faceted image of those sensory impressions and that becomes the content of long-term memory, which becomes conscious only when you retrieve it.
You cannot experience the tree itself; you can only interact with it in limited way.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Nick_A on March 20th, 2019, 8:45 pm 

Serpent » March 20th, 2019, 8:06 pm wrote:
Nick_A » March 20th, 2019, 6:33 pm wrote: We can consciously experience a tree which is a content of consciousness.

Neither. We can consciously experience seeing a tree, touching a tree, smelling the sap and flowers, tasting the fruit, hearing the branches creak and leaves flutter in the wind. We can form a multi-faceted image of those sensory impressions and that becomes the content of long-term memory, which becomes conscious only when you retrieve it.
You cannot experience the tree itself; you can only interact with it in limited way.


Whatever way you phrase it it is still the same. We have a conscious experience without knowing what consciousness is. We can have the experience of beauty without knowing what the form of beauty is.

Of course some say that man is the measure of all things so we create consciousness and we create beauty. You may believe this but I find it illogical. People believe that without Man, consciousness would not exist much less forms and whatever chaos is there is sustained somehow by chance. Try building a philosophy on this. Not even good scotch can help.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 20th, 2019, 10:15 pm 

Nick_A » March 20th, 2019, 7:45 pm wrote: We have a conscious experience without knowing what consciousness is.

So? We can digest oatmeal without knowing what enzymes are. Ignorance of how it works doesn't change the mechanism.

We can have the experience of beauty without knowing what the form of beauty is.

"the form of beauty" is not a meaningful phrase. You cannot "experience" beauty. You can perceive, identify, define, describe, contemplate and discuss the concept. All you can experience is sensory input, after which you process it through whatever emotional, intellectual and cultural matrix you use.
Does all beauty have a form? If so, why would you need to know it? You can only ever encounter a tiny fraction of all its trillions of examples.

Of course some say that man is the measure of all things so we create consciousness and we create beauty. You may believe this but I find it illogical. People believe that without Man, consciousness would not exist much less forms and whatever chaos is there is sustained somehow by chance. Try building a philosophy on this. Not even good scotch can help.

Lots of people say and believe lots of things. Why would you want to build a philosophy on anything you consider illogical? And how is that relevant?
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Re: Beauty

Postby charon on March 20th, 2019, 10:25 pm 

Nick -

I don't find this stuff difficult because I'm terribly simple about it. I think that's the secret, if you like. Just to be obvious and factual, that's all it takes.

We can consciously experience a tree which is a content of consciousness.


No, a tree is out there, isn't it? It's not a content of consciousness. The content of our consciousness is a lot of memories, words, feelings, thoughts, ideas, all the psychological content. But the tree is out there.

If you get an idea of the tree, or a thought of the tree, then it's in your consciousness. But the idea of the tree isn't the actual tree.

But we don't know what consciousness is that enables the conscious experience. Consciousness is what makes the experience of contents of consciousness possible.


The basis of experience is recognition, isn't it? Let's say you're walking down a street. Then you see a friend driving by in their car.

When you get home you wouldn't say 'I experienced walking down the street today'. At least, most of wouldn't! But you would say 'I saw X driving by in the car today'.

You experienced that because you recognised them. If you hadn't, you wouldn't have had the experience. An experience isn't an experience unless it's recognised.

Consciousness is what makes the experience of contents of consciousness possible.


We should differentiate between being physically conscious, i.e. awake and aware, and the contents of our minds which call consciousness. Our consciousness is our thoughts. What we call thinking is our consciousness with all its subtleties.

You only experience the contents when they're recognised. You know it when you feel, for example, angry or lonely. You know when you're thinking about something all the time. Those things are recognised and you say 'I feel angry' or 'I keep worrying about so-and-so'.

The form of beauty and the experience of beautiful things is the same idea.


That means you must recognise a thing to be beautiful otherwise you wouldn't experience it as beautiful.

But what is recognition? Recognition means to know again, to re-cognise. It's been seen and known before.

We call things beautiful but are unable to experience the form of beauty which makes the experience possible. Doing so is a conscious potential for human being but as we are we re limited to intuitively feeling the potential for the form of beauty but incapable of consciously experiencing the form.


But is there beauty without the form? That's the question. Without the face, the building, the painting, the mountain, is there beauty at all?
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Re: Beauty

Postby Brent696 on March 21st, 2019, 6:58 pm 

charon » March 20th, 2019, 9:25 pm

But is there beauty without the form? That's the question. Without the face, the building, the painting, the mountain, is there beauty at all?


Yes, beauty is merely an experience, this might be what Plato meant by "idea". Form, symmetry, etc.. might inspire such an experience within a few or many people, but ultimately "beauty" is simply an experience we are having.

One might say the Buddha is one who has awakened this experience within himself and nurtured it so that all of life has become beautiful, not because the world is beautiful, but because the Buddha experiences beauty without pause.

There are prayers one might offer to God, but for the sages, who meditate upon the divine, the nature and attributes of God, though terrifying in their scope, are surpassed by the beauty that is within His nature. Even the Halo is a representative of the beauty that the saint feels and thus reflects as they care for others.

What the world calls ugly, even that can be experienced as beautiful,
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 21st, 2019, 8:11 pm 

Brent696 » March 21st, 2019, 5:58 pm wrote:[But is there beauty without the form?]

Yes, beauty is merely an experience,

Merely?
Size, shape, colour, sound, smell and texture without a material object.
Just an idea from The Great Beyond.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Brent696 on March 22nd, 2019, 1:46 pm 

Serpent » March 21st, 2019, 7:11 pm

Brent696 » March 21st, 2019, 5:58 pm

Yes, beauty is merely an experience,



Merely?
Size, shape, colour, sound, smell and texture without a material object.
Just an idea from The Great Beyond.


Yes, merely,

And not an "idea" from the great beyond, as in a mere thought.

To have an experience incorporates the full being, thought and emotion.

Remove all human beings from the universe and where then is beauty, everything just is. For beauty to exist there must a consciousness that is experiencing it.

Now you might argue that a male dog, smelling a female that is in heat, is having the experience of beauty in his attraction, but I would have to call BS on such an argument. When a dog has a master we might think of as ugly, asymmetrical, warty, or even severely physically disfigured, the dog takes no note of such lack of pleasing contours. I would add that if a dog does experience a form of beauty, it would be wholly auditory.

Perhaps you are confusing "attraction" with beauty, or lust with pure appreciation. In which case the possession of the object is the goal in the attainment of beauty.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 22nd, 2019, 3:06 pm 

Brent696 » March 22nd, 2019, 12:46 pm wrote:To have an experience incorporates the full being, thought and emotion.

Indeed. And beauty doesn't. It is just one aspect of some object outside the person looking at that object. You can experience looking - or whatever your encounter with that object entails. You can hear the sound, feel the texture, name the coulour, etc., but you are only a witness to these things; all you experience is the witnessing, not the attributes.

Remove all human beings from the universe and where then is beauty, everything just is.

Sure. Everything just is. Everything has attributes. If a consciousness describes and defines those attributes, they get names in the language of that conscious entity. Beauty is the name this particular species has given to sensory input that it finds exceptionally pleasing.


For beauty to exist there must a consciousness that is experiencing it.

Beauty doesn't exist. It's a subjective evaluation of a quality of things that do exist.

Perhaps you are confusing "attraction" with beauty, or lust with pure appreciation.

I'm not the one confusing. The concept of beauty is a human concept, and like all human concepts, it evolved. Of course it had to begin with some kinds of pragmatic application: our ancestors would choose a ripe, worm-free fruit over a green one with cankers; they would prefer a lush green landscape to a barren one; were most attracted to a healthy young specimen of the relevant sex. As imagination grew in the deepening convolutions of that simian brain, the notion of what is attractive, what is desirable and pleasing, grew more varied and complex and eventually more abstract and refined.
The concept of beauty can even be projected onto immaterial products of the mind - as in "a beautiful equation". But it cannot exist on its own: it remains an attribute or property of something outside of the witness.

In which case the possession of the object is the goal in the attainment of beauty.

It very often is. Beautiful objects are admired and coveted objects.
Even your concept of beauty projected onto the concept of a deity becomes an object of desire - something you yearn with all your soul to attain.
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 23rd, 2019, 12:28 am 

If we’re going to be concise wouldn’t it be better to say something like “Beauty ‘exists,’ but it isn’t ‘real’” or “beauty is ‘real’ but it doesn’t ‘exist’”?

If we start saying beauty doesn’t exist because it’s a human concept I’d argue that we’re left with no meaning and nothign of note in existence worthy of attention.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Brent696 on March 23rd, 2019, 12:42 am 

Serpent » March 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm

You can experience looking - or whatever your encounter with that object entails. You can hear the sound, feel the texture, name the coulour, etc., but you are only a witness to these things; all you experience is the witnessing, not the attributes.


The whole idea of beauty is that it brings pleasure to the senses, hence it is subjective and emotional by nature. What you are describing is narcissistic personality disorder, or possible a depersonalization disorder, at the very least it is pure objectification.


(brent) Remove all human beings from the universe and where then is beauty, everything just is.

(Serpent) Sure. Everything just is. Everything has attributes. If a consciousness describes and defines those attributes, they get names in the language of that conscious entity. Beauty is the name this particular species has given to sensory input that it finds exceptionally pleasing.


I can't help but think you are contradicting yourself.

Everything does possess shape, definition, contour, texture, symmetry or asymmetry, etc... all things generally possess "form", but once again, only consciousness can experience beauty, a sunset, the pillars of Creation, or the mathematical simplicity of E=MC2 cannot experience beauty, only we can, to experience beauty is to find beauty within ourselves.

Can you define beauty in something else, symmetry? well not always. Form? what is beautiful to you might not be to me. Honesty? I know many people who do not find honesty beautiful but threatening. You simply cannot define it, it is only known as it is experienced.

The concept of beauty is a human concept, and like all human concepts, it evolved. Of course it had to begin with some kinds of pragmatic application: our ancestors would choose a ripe, worm-free fruit over a green one with cankers; they would prefer a lush green landscape to a barren one; were most attracted to a healthy young specimen of the relevant sex. As imagination grew in the deepening convolutions of that simian brain, the notion of what is attractive, what is desirable and pleasing, grew more varied and complex and eventually more abstract and refined.
The concept of beauty can even be projected onto immaterial products of the mind - as in "a beautiful equation". But it cannot exist on its own: it remains an attribute or property of something outside of the witness.


If it were an "attribute" or "property", then you should have no problem clearly defining it, but we should stick with the appreciate of beauty, not attraction as driven by a survival instinct.

Perhaps the problem is that those who have come to love the unlovely, to find beauty in the ugly, to seek to go beyond their own animal propensities, are very very few in number. Most people are without a doubt highly reactive, defensive, and riding high on their own survival instincts. "Beauty" seems to be one of those experiences that can transcend your evolved animal model, its possessiveness, coveting, and survival orientations.

If beauty, or our sense of it, has become more abstract and refined, as an experience of the mind of course, then the experience has grown beyond any definable objective quality.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 1:28 am 

BadgerJelly » March 22nd, 2019, 11:28 pm wrote:If we’re going to be concise wouldn’t it be better to say something like “Beauty ‘exists,’ but it isn’t ‘real’” or “beauty is ‘real’ but it doesn’t ‘exist’”?

Why? It requires reality to exist. You can't divide existence from reality.

If we start saying beauty doesn’t exist because it’s a human concept

A thing exists in the world. A concept exists in the mind.

I’d argue that we’re left with no meaning and nothign of note in existence worthy of attention.

Why the modifiers "of note" and "worthy of attention"? These are value judgments. Surely whether something exists or doesn't, is real or isn't, has meaning or hasn't, does not depend on whether someone considers them notable and attention-worthy.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 1:47 am 

Brent696 » March 22nd, 2019, 11:42 pm wrote:The whole idea of beauty is that it brings pleasure to the senses, hence it is subjective and emotional by nature.

The response to sensual pleasure is emotional, certainly. That's not the whole idea, but it's part of the experience.

What you are describing [S -- You can experience looking - or whatever your encounter with that object entails. You can hear the sound, feel the texture, name the coulour, etc., but you are only a witness to these things; all you experience is the witnessing, not the attributes.] is narcissistic personality disorder, or possible a depersonalization disorder, at the very least it is pure objectification.

Objects don't need objectifying: they're already objects.
How do you figure the simple description of experience is diagnostic of psychological disorder? Do you think everything humans experience through their physical senses is dysfunctional?

I can't help but think you are contradicting yourself.

Where?

Everything does possess shape, definition, contour, texture, symmetry or asymmetry, etc... all things generally possess "form", but once again, only consciousness can experience beauty, a sunset, the pillars of Creation, or the mathematical simplicity of E=MC2 cannot experience beauty, only we can, to experience beauty is to find beauty within ourselves.

And? things have form, etc. Conscious entities describe some forms as beautiful and others as not beautiful. Nobody can experience "beauty": it's a value-judgment regarding the attributes of things or persons or concepts.

Can you define beauty

That which some conscious entity finds exceptionally pleasing to his/her/its senses.
I've already told you this.
Of-bloody-course everyone's judgment is a little different, according to subjective taste. However, entire species tend to have large areas of aesthetic consensus, which is fairly persuasive - if not conclusive - evidence of an evolutionary function for the concept.

If it were an "attribute" or "property", then you should have no problem clearly defining it, but we should stick with the appreciate of beauty, not attraction as driven by a survival instinct.

I don't, you can and it is.
You missed a step: beauty is not an attribute or property of the object; it is the evaluation of those properties and attributes by some conscious entity with a concept of aesthetics.

Perhaps the problem

Problem?

If beauty, or our sense of it, has become more abstract and refined, as an experience of the mind of course, then the experience has grown beyond any definable objective quality.

Okay.
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 23rd, 2019, 3:20 am 

Serpent » March 23rd, 2019, 1:28 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » March 22nd, 2019, 11:28 pm wrote:If we’re going to be concise wouldn’t it be better to say something like “Beauty ‘exists,’ but it isn’t ‘real’” or “beauty is ‘real’ but it doesn’t ‘exist’”?

Why? It requires reality to exist. You can't divide existence from reality.

If we start saying beauty doesn’t exist because it’s a human concept

A thing exists in the world. A concept exists in the mind.

I’d argue that we’re left with no meaning and nothign of note in existence worthy of attention.

Why the modifiers "of note" and "worthy of attention"? These are value judgments. Surely whether something exists or doesn't, is real or isn't, has meaning or hasn't, does not depend on whether someone considers them notable and attention-worthy.


Does this mean to say you find this topic worthless then? If not why are you posting here? If you’ve no concept of “beauty” exactly what are you talking about?

Get the point? If “beauty” is neither “real” nor “existent” then what are you talking/arguing about?

You said it my friend! What is “notable” or “attention-worthy” as far as any discussion on “beauty” goes? Some people do choose the term “real” for physically measureable (mass, light, and energy in general) over saying a “chair” exists. In this sense we can then at least begin to argue that a “chair” exists but it isn’t real (it is a concept not a measureable physical item - meaning there is no degree of “chairness”).
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 9:48 am 

BadgerJelly » March 23rd, 2019, 2:20 am wrote:Does this mean to say you find this topic worthless then?

Where did you get that notion? You're the one who put in the modifiers.
I said existence, reality and meaning are independent of such a value-judgment.
I also gave a clear definition, explanation and evolutionary criterion for the concept of beauty.
What I'm arguing against is the airy-fairy, Platonic ideally, godly-wadly piffle.

Some people do choose the term “real” for physically measureable (mass, light, and energy in general) over saying a “chair” exists.

If they chose physical reality to mean existence, and then rejected (what i assume you mean by choose 'over') the existence of a physical object, such as a chair, some people would make no sense. But I don't know who these people are.
In this sense

The above was not a sense in any sense of the word sense.
we can then at least begin to argue that a “chair” exists but it isn’t real

Why would you want to argue that? To what end?

(it is a concept not a measureable physical item - meaning there is no degree of chairness”).

Huh? I don't know what you're sitting on, but my chair is certainly physical, and I could measure it if I wanted to. There are no degrees of chairness: every chair in the world)is 100% chair: that is not an attribute; that is a name, with a definition: any item made for the express purpose of accommodating one human bum in a seated position is as chairy as it needs to be. Each example has many other attributes, such as state of repair, age, shape, colour, size, weight and surface texture: these are superficial distinctions that do not affect each item's compliance with the definition of chair.

Whether each one also has the extra conceptual attribute "beauty" is a subjective value-judgment made by the individual beholder.
But no individual can behold or evaluate any chair unless it first has a physical existence.
It's got to exist before it can be pretty.

edited several times for non-beauty
Last edited by Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 23rd, 2019, 10:53 am 

Okay ... mathematics neither exists nor is it real. Circles don’t exist nor are they real. Real numbers don’t exist nor are they real.

Happy? Or does “happiness” not “exist” in any “real” sense?

Your non-godlly-wadly stuff is still piffle as far as I can tell.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 11:12 am 

BadgerJelly » March 23rd, 2019, 9:53 am wrote:Okay ... mathematics neither exists nor is it real. Circles don’t exist nor are they real. Real numbers don’t exist nor are they real.

That's right! These are concepts. They exist in human minds, not in nature. The actual things that do exist in nature can be described by these concepts, but the concepts have no independent existence.

Happy? Or does “happiness” not “exist” in any “real” sense?

Of course it doesn't. It's a concept that can describe, be attributed to, entities that do exist in the world, by conscious entities that exist in the world.

Your non-godlly-wadly stuff is still piffle as far as I can tell.

It's not mine. It's NickA's and Brent696's, but it can be yours, too, if you want it.
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 23rd, 2019, 11:27 am 

Why do you seem unable to grasp that “entities” that exist are concepts too? For some reason you value the weight or measure of something and ignore that “weight” and “measure” are concepts.

I’d recommend floundering around and trying to offer up some “actual thing” that “exists” whilst neatly ignoring that the term “exist” and “real” are concepts too, not to mention “nature”. You’re not even willing, or maybe able, to offer up a communicable difference between “real” and “existent”. You dismiss it instead and go back to your own little web of concepts and call them “actual” and/or “nature”.

It’s plain silly.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 12:23 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 23rd, 2019, 10:27 am wrote:Why do you seem unable to grasp that “entities” that exist are concepts too?

Entities that exist are concepts if and only if there is a mind to conceive them.
And that presupposes God or something like, and I do not subscribe to that belief.

For some reason you value the weight or measure of something and ignore that “weight” and “measure” are concepts.

I do not value any attribute more than another. Of course they are concepts, in exactly the same way that "circular", "red" and "beautiful" are concepts attributed by conscious entities to things both real and imaginary. For each of these descriptives, there is some definition in spoken language; definitions vary widely in their precision, subjectivity and common usage. Weight and size are more precisely defined concepts than colour and flavour, which are more precisely defined than goodness and beauty. The first two are objective and arouse little controversy; the second pair is subject to some degree of interpretation; the last two are vague, inclusive concepts that need to be narrowed down, example by example, to be meaningful.

I’d recommend floundering around and trying to offer up some “actual thing” that “exists” whilst neatly ignoring that the term “exist” and “real” are concepts too, not to mention “nature”. You’re not even willing, or maybe able, to offer up a communicable difference between “real” and “existent”. You dismiss it instead and go back to your own little web of concepts and call them “actual” and/or “nature”.
It’s plain silly.
[/quote]
Noted. I'll give your recommendation all due weighing and measuring.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Brent696 on March 23rd, 2019, 2:38 pm 

Serpent » March 23rd, 2019, 10:12 am


That's right! These are concepts. They exist in human minds, not in nature. The actual things that do exist in nature can be described by these concepts, but the concepts have no independent existence.


So now there is no objective beauty, no contours, no aesthetics, nothing out there in nature, only concepts within the human mind,

And beauty, as a concept, existing only within the human mind, which is where we experience reality BTW, and that concept we experience has no independent existence, meaning it does not exist in nature, therefore there is no beauty in nature.

Sorry Serpent, I can just not find any logically congruent path through your maze, other than just to be contrary to what another might say.

I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, you are a materialist, and as concepts are immaterial, therefore they are unreal, but whereas a tree is materially present, you consider it real. The only problem with this view is it is reliant upon fracturing time. Everything you consider "real", is in fact transient.

What is a tree, there are only elements, joined together in a particular fashion, whereby we, in concept, call it a tree. But those elements, those atom, are in constant motion, moving in and out of what we call a tree, add a few years of the past and future to that tree and this "identity" begins to fade away. Its reality exists only as one slice out a moment in time and ignore the whole of the universe. That tree, is nothing but a face upon a cloud, elements moving in and out of cohesive bonds.

But then you might suppose the elements are real, yet break them down into their sub atomic particles and those particles, if we can even call them particles, are flaring in and out of existence. The whole universe being one giant Schrodinger's cat, collapsing into a reality of sorts only as you, a consciousness, experiences it.

The universe, without a conscious observer, remains both dead and alive, it is merely pure potential without substantial being. So where then is the "reality", only the experience can be real, at least more real than that which is observed.

But you point out that our experience is merely concepts, and concepts have no independent existence, they are somehow "less real" than what is out there in nature. But in a sea of potential, undulating elements moving from one form to another, never ceasing, never cemented to any one form, concepts are all you have, concepts carry your experience from one tree to another as each dissolved back into the elemental pool from which it arose. It would seem experience is more real than nature, at least more congruent.

I even think an argument can be made for the unreality of experience but not if the "reality" falls to that which is even less real as with nature. Beauty, can only be an experience, because only consciousness can know beauty, we can even call it a concept, but the "reality" is in the experience itself, this is where it is known, there is no beauty outside of experience, they are impossible to separate.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Serpent on March 23rd, 2019, 3:43 pm 

Brent696 » March 23rd, 2019, 1:38 pm wrote:So now there is no objective beauty,

correct: this is a value judgment by a conscious entity
no contours,

incorrect: this is a physical property of objects
no aesthetics,

correct: this is a human concept
nothing out there in nature,

incorrect: everything that has physical existence is "out there" in nature
only concepts within the human mind,

concepts are not exclusive to humans; all conscious entities have them

And beauty, as a concept, existing only within the human mind,

correct
which is where we experience reality BTW,

partly correct: which is where we process the information transmitted by the sensory receptors of the body, through the nerves; only after processing does input become experience
and that concept we experience has no independent existence, meaning it does not exist in nature, therefore there is no beauty in nature.

correct
Sorry Serpent, I can just not find any logically congruent path through your maze, other than just to be contrary to what another might say.

I forgive you.
What is a tree, there are only elements, joined together in a particular fashion

correct
whereby we, in concept, call it a tree.

Not just that one; a whole class of physical configurations that conform to the general definition of tree; this is a convenience for communication between conscious entities; it is unnecessary for a solitary one, who would recognize every instance of that configuration as the same class of object, but would not need a name for it.
But those elements, those atom, are in constant motion, moving in and out of what we call a tree, add a few years of the past and future to that tree and this "identity" begins to fade away.

No, the classification remains constant; the word remains useful as long as the language does. Even words for extinct species are still useful for communication. Even dead people's names are still recognized by live people.
Its reality exists only as one slice out a moment in time and ignore the whole of the universe.

I don't think biological entities are capable of ignoring the universe, but geological ones do. This is true of any particular configuration of molecules. That doesn't make a moon or a man any less real, and doesn't make an dyohthong or a unicorn any more real.
That tree, is nothing but a face upon a cloud, elements moving in and out of cohesive bonds.

You're looking at the wrong thing. The tree is down here; the cloud is up there and they are not interchangeable. If they were, I could burn snow in my woodstove.
But then you might suppose the elements are real,

I might.
yet break them down into their sub atomic particles and those particles, if we can even call them particles, are flaring in and out of existence.

and while they're in, they're real and they exist
The whole universe being one giant Schrodinger's cat, collapsing into a reality of sorts only as you, a consciousness, experiences it.

Is it? Huh.
The universe, without a conscious observer, remains both dead and alive, it is merely pure potential without substantial being. So where then is the "reality",

It's still exactly where you left it when you went off to Fantasyland. It was here before the configuration of atoms that is you flared into existence and will be here for some considerable time after you flare out.
But you point out that our experience is merely concepts, and concepts have no independent existence, they are somehow "less real" than what is out there in nature.

Okay, try this: put all your experience into a parcel and mail it me. The parcel will probably arrive.

But you got very poetic there for a minute: displayed some beauty of language.
(in my subjective judgment... I experienced reading it, but have already forgotten most of it in the editing, so it won`t go in long-term memory.)
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Re: Beauty

Postby hyksos on March 23rd, 2019, 4:25 pm 

I am going to presume without evidence that Nick_A is caught between a rock and a hard place. And I am also caught between a rock and a hard place.

Nick_A's rock+hard place : He read Simone Weil, Plato, and Jacob Needleman. On one hand, he can't find a single christian in the real world that is literate enough to have read any of those people. Then he takes to the internet to find (at best) some philosophers who have read their works. Instead of finding such people, he is met by a wall of atheists who stifle any exploratory reading into their ideas.

My rock+hard place : I have read the works of St. Augustine of Hippo, Tomas Aquinas, and recently I have been reading the works of Jose De Acosta. (I also dusted off my copy of Julian Jaynes masterpiece "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"). I go to more philosophical venues on the internet, wanting to get down-and-dirty with this material. You know, talk about non-corporeal beings and their manifestations as idols, as demons, angels and so on and so forth what have you. The atheistic among them cut off this discussion at the head. "There is no evidence" "Cease this inquiry." Conversation is strangled of its oxygen and extinguished nearly immediately. On the other hand, I cannot find a single Christian in the more "religious" venues who is nearly literate enough to have read any of these authors.

I think Nick_A and I are likely more kindred spirits than it would appear at first glance.

However, I will start a new thread on this recent reading of mine. Mostly because I am finding bombs in the material that are exploding and I am motivated to share these revelations.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Brent696 on March 23rd, 2019, 8:27 pm 

Serpent » March 23rd, 2019, 2:43 pm


Such responses are lacking in proper forum etiquette, such chopping blocks of critique are simply ways of avoiding the point, "Is it? Huh". Since you have ceded the high ground, I accept your resignation.
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Re: Beauty

Postby Nick_A on March 25th, 2019, 5:41 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 18th, 2019, 12:45 am wrote:I really like something about what Protagoras represents. I don’t really hold to the same interpretation you’ve given by equating him with “relativism,” although he certainly leans to this area in some respects!

Any kind of “absolutism” I see as being useful only within set boundaries. Like Wittgenstein puts it if we don’t play by the same rules then we’e not playing the same game. Given that we’ve no ansolute appreciation of “being human” as a game and explore soem set of proposed “rules”/“laws” of the universe, we are not in a position to declare something as “absolute” in any other terms than abstract ones. To play poker we play by the rules or we’re not playing poker. To “break the rules” would be to break from playing the game.

Beauty is something difficult to set out as an item of investigation because the term has mulitiple linguistic applications. The same can be said for multiple other terms such as “art,” “religion” or “culture”.

Perhaps it would be useful if ou outlined the exact extend of meaning you wish to look at regarding “beauty”? Extracts from Plato would be useful references to add too. Thanks :)


Can the experience of beauty be the result of universal laws? If so than beauty as a form is possible. The problem seems to be first our inability to appreciate the laws. In times past the concepts of consciousness and conscience were united as one. We understood when we consciously experienced and felt its value at the same time. This seems perfectly natural and it seems a shame that it is largely ignored because of our acquired psychological slavery to negative emotions.

As I see it beauty as a form is a quality of lawful truth - the interactions of universal laws in which everything can be included in potential.

For me anyhow the form of beauty is described as well as it can be described in the Ladder of Love

https://www.thoughtco.com/platos-ladder-of-love-2670661

6.Beauty itself–that is, the Form of the Beautiful. This is described as “an everlasting loveliness which neither comes nor goes, which neither flowers nor fades.” It is the very essence of beauty, “subsisting of itself and by itself in an eternal oneness.” And every particular beautiful thing is beautiful because of its connection to this Form. The lover who has ascended the ladder apprehends the Form of Beauty in a kind of vision or revelation, not through words or in the way that other sorts of more ordinary knowledge are known.

Diotima tells Socrates that if he ever reached the highest rung on the ladder and contemplated the Form of Beauty, he would never again be seduced by the physical attractions of beautiful youths. Nothing could make life more worth living than enjoying this sort of vision. Because the Form of Beauty is perfect, it will inspire perfect virtue in those who contemplate it
.

I can only understand what beauty as a form is by appreciating truth expressed in quality of interactions of universal laws which the human organism emotionally experiences as beauty.

Of course the beauty of lawful truth at the level of forms is often felt as repulsive during our daily lives. Simone Weil describes how the results of war can be experienced as horrible from a worldly perspective but at the same time, looking at Man from higher perspective reveals the lack of choice. Man is just a creature of reaction in obedience to universal laws that are the cause of our experience of beauty.
“The sea is not less beautiful to our eye because we know that sometimes ships sink in it. On the contrary, it is more beautiful still. If the sea modified the movement of its waves to spare a boat, it would be a being possessing discernment and choice, and not this fluid that is perfectly obedient to all external pressures. It is this perfect obedience that is its beauty.”

“All the horrors that are produced in this world are like the folds imprinted on the waves by gravity. This is why they contain beauty. Sometimes a poem, like the Iliad, renders this beauty.”

“Man can never escape obedience to God. A creature cannot not obey. The only choice offered to man as an intelligent and free creature, is to desire obedience or not to desire it. If he does not desire it, he perpetually obeys nevertheless, as a thing subject to mechanical necessity. If he does desire obedience, he remains subject to mechanical necessity, but a new necessity is added on, a necessity constituted by the laws that are proper to supernatural things. Certain actions become impossible for him, while others happen through him, sometimes despite him.”

Excerpt from: Thoughts without order concerning the love of God, in an essay entitled L'amour de Dieu et le malheur (The Love of God and affliction). Simone Weil


I can experience a beautiful chess game between two grandmasters. I call it beautiful because even though I understand the laws of the game, the interactions of the laws of the game took place in a manner I didn’t anticipate to such a degree that I call the game beautiful.

The quality of beauty diotima spoke of seems to refer to the experience of a quality of lawful interactions we are normally incapable of but if one experiences it, lower experiences of beauty lose their importance.
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 26th, 2019, 12:43 am 

I was referriing to this question:

BadgerJelly » March 20th, 2019, 1:07 pm wrote:Nick -

It would be a helluva lot easier if you either said that I was right or wrong? It appears I was right, but if not I’ve you’ve found a possible deadend (which may be negatively useful and move us towards a place where we can communicate more directly?)
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Re: Beauty

Postby Nick_A on March 26th, 2019, 3:06 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 26th, 2019, 12:43 am wrote:I was referriing to this question:

BadgerJelly » March 20th, 2019, 1:07 pm wrote:Nick -

It would be a helluva lot easier if you either said that I was right or wrong? It appears I was right, but if not I’ve you’ve found a possible deadend (which may be negatively useful and move us towards a place where we can communicate more directly?)


BJ


It would be a helluva lot easier if you either said that I was right or wrong? It appears I was right, but if not I’ve you’ve found a possible deadend (which may be negatively useful and move us towards a place where we can communicate more directly?)

I think you mean this post:

Charon -

I think he simply means that we all appreciate “beauty” in some experiential capacity. We don’t fall into a state of confusion when someone calls a painting or sunset Beautiful. The meaning is explicit enough.

Of course I’m guessing, and even if so I don’t quite see how this is pertinent to the topic - being obvious enough not to need mentioning.

You are referring to what I consider to be a partial truth. We call this or that beautiful. These are all subjective experiences but as we are we are incapable of experiencing the form of beauty. The reason for this belief requires being open to Plato’s analogy of the Divided Line. All our subjective experiences of beauty take place below the line which is called the visible realm below the sun. Beauty below the line is a sensory experience. The form of beauty exists as part of the intelligible realm above the divided line and beyond the scope of our senses. We experience it through a higher form of intellect reached through conscious contemplation sometimes called soul knowledge intuition, or remembrance.

The idea of this thread is to reveal how some of us could take a painting considered beautiful and take it apart peace by peace to try and find what makes it beautiful. Others will seek to experience what is beyond the sensory experience of beauty of the painting as a whole to draw closer to the form of the beauty and the GOOD it is within.

The first way is the attraction to science while the second is the attraction to objective meaning furthered by real philosophy and the essence of religion. It seems in modern life only a rare few can can pursue both paths simultaneously
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Re: Beauty

Postby BadgerJelly on March 26th, 2019, 10:55 pm 

I guess you’re incapable of answering the question then? Shock me and say “yes” or “no” (with nuances if need be.)
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Re: Beauty

Postby Nick_A on March 27th, 2019, 12:03 am 

BadgerJelly » March 26th, 2019, 10:55 pm wrote:I guess you’re incapable of answering the question then? Shock me and say “yes” or “no” (with nuances if need be.)


You are right; I cannot answer the question yes or no. A partial truth is neither yes or no.
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