What is Beauty: Definition and 56 Discussions

Beauty is commonly described as a feature of objects that makes these objects pleasurable to perceive. Such objects include landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art. Beauty, together with art and taste, is the main subject of aesthetics, one of the major branches of philosophy. As a positive aesthetic value, it is contrasted with ugliness as its negative counterpart. It is often listed as one of the three fundamental concepts of human understanding besides truth and goodness.
One difficulty for understanding beauty is due to the fact that it has both objective and subjective aspects: it is seen as a property of things but also as depending on the emotional response of observers. Because of its subjective side, beauty is said to be "in the eye of the beholder". It has been argued that the ability on the side of the subject needed to perceive and judge beauty, sometimes referred to as the "sense of taste", can be trained and that the verdicts of experts coincide in the long run. This would suggest that the standards of validity of judgments of beauty are intersubjective, i.e. dependent on a group of judges, rather than fully subjective or fully objective.
Conceptions of beauty aim to capture what is essential to all beautiful things. Classical conceptions define beauty in terms of the relation between the beautiful object as a whole and its parts: the parts should stand in the right proportion to each other and thus compose an integrated harmonious whole. Hedonist conceptions see a necessary connection between pleasure and beauty, e.g. that for an object to be beautiful is for it to cause disinterested pleasure. Other conceptions include defining beautiful objects in terms of their value, of a loving attitude towards them or of their function.

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  1. Omega0

    B Neptune: Beauty Beyond Our Standard Eyes

    Personally, I would say I am a Neptune fan. This planet is extreme. Temperature, wind speed etc. I love this beautiful deep blue light from so many fotos. Some white clouds on the top, so lovely. My question: How real is the picture I got? What if I am as a human 1 million kilometers away, how...
  2. Melbourne Guy

    Beauty and wonder of science boosts researchers’ well-being

    According to a survey by Brandon Vaidyanathan and colleagues at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, scientists’ ability to experience wonder, awe, and beauty in their work is associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and better mental health. 'Beauty' is noted...
  3. M

    B What should Sleeping Beauty's credence be in a life-or-death coin toss?

    The previous sleeping beauty thread was closed asking me to provide a reference for the definition of credence that I would accept. I was not willing to accept a definition that says that credence must always follow the betting...
  4. JeffJo

    I The Actual Sleeping beauty Problem

    First, a little history. I'm assuming you are familiar with how the details are governed, so I'll only list what the details were: The problem originated in an unpublished (until much later) work by Arnold Zuboff. The experiment was to last a trillion days. Depending on a fair coin toss (Heads...
  5. M

    B The Sleeping Beauty Problem: What is the Scientific Definition of Credence?

    Many people debate the sleeping beauty problem, and seemingly there are many who take the thirder view. I don’t see how anyone can argue that the answer is anything but 1/2. Before she goes to sleep the probability of heads or tails is 50/50. The only argument I can think of, to say that...
  6. dlgoff

    Incredible Video Shows Nature's Beauty

    I just watched this video. How amazing is this:
  7. anorlunda

    Can Storm Chasing be Considered a Form of Nature Appreciation?

    When we hear the word storm, we think of the threats that it brings and the damage it might leave behind. I like this video, because it shows the spectacular sky shows that come with storms. They are surely one of our most magnificent displays of nature.
  8. greg_rack

    Exploring the Beauty of Math Through Aerospace Engineering

    Hi guys, I'm 18 and about to start an aerospace engineering course. I'd like to have a few cool physics and mathematics-oriented readings before starting the course... both as preparation and as an encouragement. One thing I must tell you is that I totally prefer studying physics over pure...
  9. DarkMattrHole

    B Question regarding 'beauty' in the theories that go beyond the standard model

    There has been a lot of talk about the value of beauty in theoretical physics. There seems to be a lot of little things that are beautiful because they make sense, according to what we already know, like the discovery of anti-particles, and recently the Higgs. The standard model was revealed...
  10. Adesh

    Why don't we emphasize the beauty of math much more than we do?

    Before biding my last farewell to Maths I want to ask something from learned and experienced men:- 1. Why everyone else in this world just care about solving problems, qualifying tough exams and publishing some papers ? Why no one ever tries to think about beauty of Mathematics , why no one...
  11. ohwilleke

    B Why is there still disagreement over the b quark's name?

    Some physics papers today describe the b quark as a beauty quark. For example: Others physics papers today refer to b quarks as bottom quarks. For example: The b quark is a particle that was theoretically predicted to exist in 1973 and first observed experimentally in 1977. But, here we...
  12. enter

    Why did Dirac strongly pursue mathematical beauty?

    In everyday language, beauty is an emotional concept. How would you mix that with quantum physics and the mathematics behind it? Or is what he refers to as "beauty" is more like simplicity? I mean, I agree with the man, the Standard Model feels redundantly complex, but I feel like there is...
  13. jedishrfu

    B Sabine Hossenfelder and Beauty in Physics

    From the article: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zmkvxa/physicists-are-misled-by-outdated-notions-of-beauty
  14. Galdor

    Book on beauty of nuclear designs

    Hi all, I'm looking for a book that talks about civil nuclear technologies (water reactors, molten salt, etc.): - Either to emphasize the beauty of the technology from an engineering point of view. - Or the historical development of the technology (in terms of engineering more than politics ...
  15. D

    Is the sun telling us something?

    Sometimes it looks like there is a message here. Sun on 9/8/2017 - wavelengths 211, 193, 171 from http://sdowww.lmsal.com/suntoday/index.html?suntoday_date=2017-09-08 Beautiful!
  16. Demystifier

    I The Sleeping Beauty Problem: Any halfers here?

    The sleeping beauty problem is a well known problem in probability theory, see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty_problem http://allendowney.blogspot.hr/2015/06/the-sleeping-beauty-problem.html https://www.quantamagazine.org/solution-sleeping-beautys-dilemma-20160129 or just...
  17. AryaUnderfoot

    B The Invisible Beauty of Evening Primrose

    I understand that the wavelength of UV is too short to be absorbed by our cone cells, but I've came across 2 photos of evening primrose, which to our eyes are a dull yellow, but to insects (can see the UV light), it has a special pattern. My question is, I thought we're not able to see it. but...
  18. Ackbach

    MHB Beauty in Mathematics: Exploring Aesthetic Beauty in Proofs & Papers

    This is a bit of an odd problem - more philosophical, perhaps. I've been reading The Art of Mathematics, by Jerry P. King, and the author points out that mathematicians do mathematics for aesthetic reasons - for beauty. They see beauty in the mathematics that they do. My question is this: what...
  19. K

    Scientific implications of latest LHC SUSY beauty quark

    http://news.discovery.com/space/lhc-keeps-bruising-difficult-to-kill-supersymmetry-150727.htm LHC Keeps Bruising 'Difficult to Kill' Supersymmetry Previous attempts at measuring the beauty quark's rare transformation into a so-called "up quark" had yielded conflicting results. That prompted...
  20. Greg Bernhardt

    Earth's Beauty: Showcasing a Favorite Photo

    Post one of your favorite Earth photos
  21. A

    Euler's identity, mathematical beauty and applications of it

    Learned this identity a year ago randomly studying for adv biomechanics and was wondering if there were real-world applications for this outside of mathematicians appreciating the formula.
  22. DennisN

    Our Beautiful Universe - Photos and Videos

    This thread is dedicated to the beauty and awesomeness of our Universe. If you feel like it, please share video clips and photos (or nice animations) of space and objects in space in this thread. Your posts, clips and photos may by all means include scientific information; that does not make it...
  23. dlgoff

    Beauty of old electrical and measuring things, etc.

    Even as a kid, I saw beauty in old devices. That made me want to understand how they worked. I had lots of old things that I keep and now reviving. Old things need to work to see the beauty. Here's what I've done so far. Two views of the gadgets shelves and my small work space...
  24. Demystifier

    Math is Beautiful: Evidence for Mathematical Aesthetics

    When a mathematician says that mathematics is "beautiful", is it so in the same sense as e.g. art is beautiful? A recent research presents evidence that it is: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00068/full
  25. alyafey22

    MHB Exploring Category Theory: Discover the Beauty of Mathematics

    Hey guys , what is the best book to read about category theory ?
  26. Crazymechanic

    Motivating video: preserve the natural beauty of this planet

    Not to mention that I am one of those who thinks that sitting on a metal chair and table is no big of a deal as long as we can preserve the natural beauty of this planet and also I don't like egoistic people who think only about themselves now this being said this video is both a great idea , a...
  27. T

    Can Beauty be described in terms of mathematics?

    This is Dr. Stephen Marquadt. http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/1373/stephenmarquardt.jpg When he was a young child, his mother was horribly disfigured in a car crash. So he eventually took the route of becoming a reconstructive plastic surgeon. As a plastic surgeon, he had to work out...
  28. L

    Is recognizing beauty a chemical process?

    Why do we recognize a stream of sunlight going through the clouds causing a river to glitter as beautiful. Is it a chemical process? Why would we recognize something like that outside of ourselves that has no use as beautiful? And how would that fit into the theory of evolution and biology if...
  29. B

    New Beauty Baryon discovered

    New "Beauty Baryon" discovered “A never-before-seen subatomic particle has popped into existence inside the world's largest atom smasher, bringing physicists a step closer to unraveling the mystery of how matter is put together in the universe.” “After crashing particles together about 530...
  30. 0

    Does Evolution has a role on beauty of Wood Duck bird?

    Does Evolution has a role on beauty of "Wood Duck" bird? Hey there, Lately I had a debate with a person on internet on whether beauty of Wood Duck has any relation to Evolution or not. At first he claimed that Evolution has nothing to do with beauty of species, and only narrow-minded...
  31. F

    Is Beauty an Aspect of Awareness or an Independent Reality?

    I could really do with some consultation here This is mainly to do with reality , being , awareness and meaning for humans. Can we agree reality is one thing and our awareness of what reality is another(- so that is almost a separate reality as we know it)? Im having a mental block at...
  32. R

    What role do you think mathematics plays in beauty and aesthetics?

    Do you think that beauty and aesthetics are subjective or objective things? I read an article about the Golden Ratio and how it influences beauty and aesthetics. Certain people have better looks because of the mathematical proportions within their face that makes it easier for our minds to...
  33. C

    I have a constellation of beauty marks on my face

    Orion's Belt How cool is that? :cool:
  34. L

    On the influence of our imaginary on string theory's beauty

    Dear physicists, Please forgive my naive and general question but I have a something in mind that I would like to answer... String theorists say something like: "Although string theory cannot be tested, the mathematical beauty coming from this theory is such that it is very convincing and...
  35. D

    What evolutionary purpose is appreciation of beauty?

    I know it could be used to say, find a good place to live, since we find water beautiful. But what about those that admire deserts? What about admiration of non-visual art? What benefits did they bring? I suppose some could be social.
  36. L

    Treatise on Tauto Logic and the Common Beauty

    Treatise on Tauto Logic and the Common Beauty For States of the World: Let there be no honor but the will to survive. Watch those who scramble for an honor to behold when the fortune falls - leaving everything asunder as it has been in all generations. With high hopes for a scandal to...
  37. S

    Witness the Beauty of the Universe: IMAX Hubble Film

    I saw the IMAX Hubble film today. Whewww, It was absolutely beautiful! A must see for anyone who likes things.
  38. jim mcnamara

    Monique and Astronuc's Wedding: A Nizhonii of Beauty!

    Or maybe ee'yaah! odj' henaah! I'm not going to charmap Navajo, since nobody here can read it, much less understand it anyway... the point is: I love the wedding! - especially the baby Greg sonogram. Monique and Astronuc etc., in the Wedding party kinda gave it away. Nonetheless I...
  39. S

    Is Undergraduate Physics More Engaging Than High School?

    I took physics with really bad teachers in high school. Now I am a math major but I need science credits, so I am really willing to give physics another shot. In high school, all we did was memorize equations and ways to apply them. Things like, here is a projectile moving at ... or here is a...
  40. V

    Who Is the Most Beautiful Filipina?

    :rolleyes: Filipinos have different taste.. other filipinos prefer those who are talented or cute, etc... The following girls are all filipina. Some are actresses.. Who do you think is the most beautiful? Wait for the Candidates Pictures.. 1.Angel Locsin 2.Kristine Hermosa 3.Bea Alonzo...
  41. B

    Is Beauty Objective? - Get Exam Help Now!

    i was just wondering if someone could please help me i have an exam tm and was wondering if you could please give me some ideas on what to write about the question is beauty objective?? what does this mean?? thankyou
  42. M

    Proving the Limit of a Sum using Sequence Convergence

    Hello, Can someone please help me prove that the lim as n goes to infinity of (the sequence an + the sequence bn) = (the lim of an) + (the lim of bn). What I think is that if one adds the two limits an + bn, she will come up with a new sequence cn and take its limit, which equals L...
  43. Evo

    Discover the Versatile Beauty of Bible Translations

    Do you have a favorite translation? And what do you like about that particular translation? To give people that aren't familiar a sample of how much the meaning can change form one version to another, here is a great site that let's you compare verses amoung the 13 most popular translations...
  44. R

    Exploring the Beauty of .99 Repeating Equals 1

    i accept that .99 repeating equals 1. I read a lot of posts as why it is true and I accept them. ii had a discussion with some people about this and their response is there must be a difference. the basic reason is based on what happens when you divide 1 by 3. they claim 1/3 dose not equal .33...
  45. K

    Discover the Moon's Beauty - Google Moon

    Zoom into see what the moon's really like: http://moon.google.com/
  46. TheStatutoryApe

    Beauty vs Brains: Which is More Important?

    I have thought about this a few times but I have never really gotten other persons opinions. It seems that it is generally looked down upon now a days to choose a partner with much regard for their physical apearance. It would seem, by some people's standards that physical apearance should...
  47. D

    How Does Beauty Work? Investigating Attraction & Perception

    I'm curious about how beauty works. Are there qualities that genetically make people more attractive to others? Is beauty all subject to individual perception or has it developed due to societies influence? Thanks.
  48. Evo

    Unusual Pigment Loss in Beauty Marks and Freckles

    You know those little brown spots, some slightly raised that are referred to in the English language as "beauty marks"? I though those were permanent. I've had one on my right little finger for my ENTIRE life. I just looked down and noticed that although the little dot is still slightly...
  49. J

    Why is beauty important for humans?

    Let me first start by talking about the purpose of taste. An apple tastes good to us, not because it's just inherently tasty (if that makes sense at all) but it's because our taste buds have evolved indicate that apples (and other items as well) are fit for human consumption. I mean, it's no...
  50. D

    Can Imbalance Enhance Beauty in Design?

    Beauty is term which inplies connection to the impression we get when notesing balance. Some designers make their desing inbalanced purposely to accent something. This is because the thing that disturbs the balance makes additional impression because of violating the balance and it gets easier...