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Value theory , ah?

  1. Sep 17, 2003 #1


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    what is it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2003 #2
    Ethics and Aesthetics
  4. Sep 17, 2003 #3
    Aesthetics as in "don't hate me because I'm beautifull"?
    I wanted to ask the same question as lqg but I had a busy day....
  5. Sep 17, 2003 #4


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    so questions like is this theory aestetic or is this equation beautiful are a concern to the theory?
  6. Sep 17, 2003 #5
  7. Sep 17, 2003 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    Asked like a true math nerd.

    It doesn't have to be about an equation. There are other aesthetic problems that overlap with technical disciplines as well. For instance, Civil Engineering and Architecture. The new apartment complex you built may be solid as a rock, but if it's butt ugly no one is going to want to live in it.

    Here's some fuel for discussion:

    Aesthetic Judgement

    Ethics, the other half of Value Theory, has obvious relevance to engineering and science.
  8. Sep 17, 2003 #7
    This is a complex question.

    As with beauty, value is in the eye of the beholder.

    Like someone has already stated... an apartement complex can be solid, earthquake proof and as practical as can be, yet hold no aestheic value for the buyer... thus, going down the tube of no purchase/profit and becoming a "housing project" for the state.

    Yet, the beautiful, colourful and aesthetic apartment complex with the bannana trees and waterfalls that has no built-in practicality nor any design that accomodates the buyer will also find itself dumped down the "housing project" tube... generating no profit for the developer and law suits for the builder.

    So, what seems to be a universal value, in this case, is an apartment complex (any entity) that offers both esthetics and practicality. In fact, I would maintain that the two are inseparable since some thing pleasing to the beholder is a part of practicality.

    What further compounds the complexity of the nature of value is this...

    Often an equation/statement that is incomplete or completely wrong will lead the way to a better equation... so, there is value in an incorrect statement (the value of motivation in the observer).

    The ethics involved in assymetric, incomplete and unappreciated aesthetics are hidden to the beholder... yet, the very presence of the stimulus motivates the observer into finding intrinsic values that may exist within or counter the very equation or aesthetic they find to be devoid of ethics. (I'm sure I haven't made myself perfectly clear. Still, there may be some value to my statement for you!)

    Intrinsic values... anyone!???
  9. Sep 18, 2003 #8
    Re: Re: value theory , ah?

    Is this an invitation for me to to continue by beauty is or can be intrinsic.

    My point is/was that unlike the falling tree in the woods not making any sound.... Beauty remains after the beholder leaves. Nothing changes and when another beholder comes by s/he too can see and appreciate the beauty.

    By the way I thing "value" should be a subtopic of quality. Value implys usefulness and cost or desire to own or partake. It I think is strictly in the eye or wallet. Mankind values something and give it value. Quality of which beauty is a type of quality is or can be intrinsic. IMHO
  10. Sep 18, 2003 #9
    Yes, but is it right to discriminate against someone because they're not beautiful? And yet we do it all the time, especially men, because they're pigs! :wink:
  11. Sep 19, 2003 #10

    Another God

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    I read a bit of that article and skipped down a bit to the hedonism section and read that too before deciding that I dislike the authors POV/philosophy.

    ..Its soo.....socially acceptable.

    Oh, i guess this is a little off topic now huh. I could start a new thread and rant about it a little if anyone is interested.
  12. Sep 19, 2003 #11
    Value = Potential

    After some deliberation I've come up with this reevaluation of Value Theory.

    Value = Potential. (the value of an object, element or entity can be accurately evaluated by studying its potential to influence any number {[oo]} of situations/conditions. This involves using prediction modeling which is one major function of physics)

    Ethics and Aesthetics are of equal value...(potential) in that they both offer a system by which to accomodate potentials.

    If there are any concrete points that support or question my statements here please feel free to present them.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2003
  13. Sep 20, 2003 #12


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    Re: Re: value theory , ah?

    the question isnt the complex one but the subject in question might be.
  14. Sep 26, 2003 #13
    Re: Re: Re: value theory , ah?

    Value and beauty are subtopics of virtue. We are the belief makers, and virtue is its own reward. :wink:

    That is why this subject is so hard for people, not because it is intrinsically more complex than others, but because it cuts to the bone.
  15. Sep 28, 2003 #14
    Re: Re: Re: Re: value theory , ah?

    Can this then mean that virue is intrinsic? Humans are not the only ones who appreciate beauty or virtue. Does this too make it intrinsic? If beauty is appreciated by multiple species doesn't this imply that it is not just us that bestow the virtue of beauty upon something or that beauty is strictly in the eye of the beholder?

    It is this feature of this topic that makes it so facinating to me. It is not, to me at least, not that God created the universe and so it is or must be beautiful. It is that beauty (virtue) is intrinsic as a characteristic of the thing itself whether it be an object, music, words of thoughts. The fact that we are human or at least sufficiently developed mentally to be able to recognize and appreciate beauty is testimony to our intelligence and developement not the other way around.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2003
  16. Sep 29, 2003 #15
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: value theory , ah?

    Do you have examples of beauty being appreciated by multiple species? The only example I can come up with is King Kong liking Melany Griffith.

    How do you interview an avacado about the virtues of sunshine?
  17. Sep 30, 2003 #16
    In my day it was Fay Wray. I have been trying to think of a good example that was at least defendable. I thought that maybe I have overstated my case. I have seen animals, dogs and cats smell flowers and look at them for long periods and this is what I had in mind but I can't defend it as obviously admiring beauty though it seemed that that was what they were doing at the time.
    I recently watched a program about a captive young female gorilla that had been taught sign language. She looked over photographs of captive male Gorillas. The point was for her to pick a potential mate. She barely glanced at most of them but came upon one that "caught her fancy". She would not even look a the rest of the photos. The story has a happy ending in that the choosen male was brought to her and put into her compound. She was the aggressor as she already knew that he was the one that she wanted. They eventually bred and she had a baby gorilla and they all lived happily ever after. Is this a good example of another species reognizing and appreciating beauty, at least what is beauty to a gorilla?
    Another example that I thought of was birds and various mammels, pack rats, etc, collecting shiny objects that are of no use to them. Or the sex specific colors and markings of various birds and animals. They may be beautiful to us but is it beauty to them? If not why spend all that time and energy to have those markings and to show them off so predominately? I don't know if any of these are really valid examples but they are what I had in mind when I wrote it. Can anybody help me with this, come up with better examples?
  18. Sep 30, 2003 #17
    Its a tough topic but... I think for the most part if not the whole part, virtue is a subtopic of potential.

    When an animal... including humans... sees a potential in any object or idea or whatever the potential is related to survival. There is an evoked potential in the brain that is evoked by certain curvatures, colours, smells etc... the potential is a spark that alerts us to a type of strength or efficency that has the potential to continue our species... which is the main drive in all living organisms.

    Those things that attract any living organism are the things that facilitate its continued survival. We can fool ourselves into thinking we are different but the mechanism is the same in us. When we think the Crab Nebula is so beautiful its because it resembles a nice tasty pomegranite or passionfruit. These are genetically engrained, learned behaviours from a distant past. In my opinion.
  19. Sep 30, 2003 #18


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    Royce, I think your examples cover it as well as it can be covered. I too agree that humans are not the only ones in nature who perceive beauty. However, I don't see this as evidence that beauty is intrinsic to nature; I still hold to the old addage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    All the creatures that we can think of as appreciating beauty are really remarkably similar to us, despite the many differences we can count off. All living beings that we identify as vaguely intelligent are intelligent by virtue of the same device, a bundle of nerves called the brain, that functions on the same basic principles of cognition. So it's not a stretch to think that so many beings appreciate beauty simply because it's a mental propensity that belongs to each of them, by virtue of the same underlying principles.

    Note also that what we consider beautiful corresponds to our subjective interpretations of what reality is, not reality itself. When we say 'the sky is such a beautiful shade of blue!' we obviously are not sighing about a particular sized wavelength; rather we are appreciating that subjective quality that we call blue. As for a so called primary quality such as shape, there is nothing particularly special about an object in itself that appears as a certain shape. For instance, the structure of Michaelangelo's David would be just as beautiful if it were carved in another piece of stone, or to more or less identical extents in wood, or ice, or in a 3D computer model, or in a hologram, or any other medium capable of representing this structure. Thus the beauty of the structure seems to be not an innate property of nature; rather, the beauty of the structure seems to lie in the idea or subjective perception of the structure. So this too must be a subjective aesthetic, unless you are a Platonist who thinks that the idea of the structure somehow exists outside of the minds that perceive it.
  20. Sep 30, 2003 #19
    In the rare case where a human finds all things/events beautiful I believe it is an evoked (by their perception) realization that they exist together with that which is perceived to exist with them and that this is, potentially, a cool thing.

    But it still boils down to a semblence of proof that they have survived, thus far.
  21. Sep 30, 2003 #20
    We all seem to agree to a point. That point is IMO where the recognition and appreciation of beauty for what ever reason or cause is in fact seperate from the characteristic itself of whatever we are sensing i.e. seeing hearing tasting feeling etc. The appreciation is subjective. The characteristics that make the object beautiful to us are intrinsic, objective and material. Can we call those characteristics beauty, quality, virtue in and of themselves? I think so. They, the characteristics do not change or go away when we no longer look at the object. When we come back or another person comes along those characteristics that make the object beautiful are still there to be appreciated all over again.
    Admittedly I am a romantic. To me the thing that makes something beautiful is not our ability to see it but a property of the thing itself and thus it is intrinsic. Is a scientific formula or law elegant and beautiful of itself, of its own properties, or is it simply because we choose to call those properties beautiful and elegant?
    That I think is the crux of the matter. I choose to be a romantic and choose to believe that there is real beauty in the universe not just something that I deem to be beautiful because it reminds me of something to eat or procreate with.
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