Value theory , ah?

  • #1
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what is it?
 

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  • #3
Guybrush Threepwood
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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....
 
  • #4
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so questions like is this theory aestetic or is this equation beautiful are a concern to the theory?
 
  • #6
quantumdude
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Originally posted by loop quantum gravity
so questions like is this theory aestetic or is this equation beautiful are a concern to the theory?

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.
 
  • #7
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by loop quantum gravity
what is it?

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!???
 
  • #8
Royce
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Originally posted by quantumcarl
This is a complex question.

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

Intrinsic values... anyone!???

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
 
  • #9
Iacchus32
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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:
 
  • #10
Another God
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Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
I don't know. here's some serious definition...I was just reading that
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_theory
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.
 
  • #11
quantumcarl
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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.
 
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  • #12
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Originally posted by quantumcarl
This is a complex question.

the question isnt the complex one but the subject in question might be.
 
  • #13
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Royce
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

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.
 
  • #14
Royce
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Value and beauty are subtopics of virtue. We are the belief makers, and virtue is its own reward. :wink:

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?


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.

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.
 
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  • #15
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Royce
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?

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?
 
  • #16
Royce
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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?
 
  • #17
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Royce
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?

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.
 
  • #18
hypnagogue
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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.
 
  • #19
quantumcarl
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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.
 
  • #20
Royce
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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.
 
  • #21
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Royce
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.

It is worth noting here that you could make the exact same argument for colors existing in nature, although it is widely accepted in philosophy that colors do not exist in objective reality but rather are mental representational modes (subjective qualities) for perceiving that reality. The same could easily go for beauty-- in fact I think it makes more sense to think of it this way.

This of course does not devalue beauty in any way, to say it is mental and not objectively existent. But I get the impression that your argument itself arises from just such an aesthetic sensibility of yours that leads you to think that objective beauty would be in some sense more meaningful or valid or beautiful than mentally created beauty. To me it's irrelevant-- beauty is still beauty in all its glorious beautifulness, and it doesn't really matter where it comes from. After all, when you're actually experiencing it, you don't have to stop to wonder where it's coming from to really enjoy it.

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.

Strictly logically speaking, I'd have to say it comes from us folks. I mean, you can easily conceive of a creature who doesn't find the laws of physics (or an acclaimed work of art, or whatever) particularly beautiful (I imagine a large chunk of our own population belongs to this category). So we have two opposing opinions or sensibilities on the matter. To say one is more right than the other, I think, is a bit arbitrary and maybe even elitist ("I'm seeing things how they really are, and if you don't see the same thing, you're just fooling yourself"). I still haven't seen any really compelling arguments that beauty is an actual property of reality, outside of consciousness.

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.

It doesn't have to be so base. Reducing beauty in the way you describe is of course just as shortsighted as saying love is 'just' an evolutionary tool-- for us humans who experience it, love has its own intrinsic value, evolution be damned. Beauty, too, can still be a wonderful thing that has its own value within the context of consciousness.
 
  • #22
Royce
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Well I can't disagree with anything that you say, hypnagogue. We seem very close in our thinking and I appreciate you logic and position. The philosophical point of whether beauty is intrinsic or subjective is of no consequence in real life or in the appreciation of beaty in any and all forms. It is, however, the topic or at least a subtopic of this thread and what I was addressing. It is pure philosophy and I can show no proof or logic to support my position other than what I have already said. The main point is that beauty remains for others to see or for us to see again when we return. Requardless of whether one is capable of recognizing or appreciating these characteristics as beauty is moot in my opinion. Beauty is and remains so with or without some consciousness to perceive it. That others think differently is expected and appreciated and to me at least is one of the beauties of pure basic philosophy. I can think of no more fundamental question. There are others just as fundamental and they too are facinating and beautiful. I don't think that there is any one correct answer to any of them
 
  • #23
quantumcarl
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Royce wrote:
"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?"

We can call anything any label we want. That does not engender the object with the attribute we perceive it to have.

When we label beauty, ugly or benign we are simply expressing the intrinsic mode of genetic and social programing each of us carries with us.

The insect, flower, nebula or landscape that we label beautiful, ugly or unmentionable does not carry any of these attributes on its own. It is the observer who attributes the existing potential to them... as in "projecting". Without that relationship between the observer and the object... all intrinsic values of an event or object are neutral, neither beautiful, ugly, evil, good, bad or indifferent.

Therefore my conclusion is that humans are a mass group of drama queens that have created a completely unecessary soap opera out of life. For the most part we struggle to label and understand the incomprehensible rather than simply enjoying what life has to offer.
 
  • #24
If we were living 20k years ago and had no words to describe or communicate what beauty is, would we still know beauty? The main distinction seems to me that a thing of beauty is more emotional and instinctual in advantage and is a word that attempts to communicate strong feelings along these lines that are sometimes sexual in origin and often suggestive of a hormonal type feeling of fondness toward the object of beauty, but one's understanding of a word is also dependent on experience. Anyway I mostly hear the word applied to women and children and art or occasionally whatever one wants to think of as beautiful. So what is beautiful to one person is what they value and mostly often along those suggestive sexual feeling type lines or dependent on experience. It seems value theory is getting at something deep but still difficult to communicate and suggestive of religious things, it makes me wonder if a person tries to give more to others will they more likely see things that are beneficial to everyone instead of mostly themselves? Of course one can't do that all the time but to go the opposite way would be harmful wouldn't it? I mean isn't trying to see what is better for all actually better than only looking to see what is good for one? Ya, I think it is more blind to take the world personally and focus mostly on oneself, because like one of my friends said to me, you could get rich off some idea to which I thought that if I had only been looking for money and personal gain I probably wouldn't have seen the idea in the first place because most of the ideas that are truly useful help everyone.
Drama queens, lol.
 
  • #25
Royce
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Philistines! All of you. Why does everything have to be reduced to the animal level of existence. I realize a number of you are young and interested only in eating, drinking and breeding as I once was. Hormones and genes are only a small part of what life is all about. Love is; and, beauty is; and, it is irrelavent if they have any survival value or not. I take great delight in stopping and smelling the roses every once in a while yet I am not a bee nor do I eat roses nor to I plan to breed with a rose any time soon. Roses are beautiful in and of themselves as is their aroma and that is where their value lies. It is, in part, this recognition and appreciation that make us human, that differentiates us from cattle, from breeding stock.
The question remains is the rose beautiful in and of itself or is it beautiful only because we say so. The latter is arrogance beyond belief IMO. The former is more natural and going with the flow. Allowing the universe to be beautiful and contain beauty and appreciating it and life that much more because of it.
 
  • #26
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Royce

The question remains is the rose beautiful in and of itself or is it beautiful only because we say so. The latter is arrogance beyond belief IMO. The former is more natural and going with the flow. Allowing the universe to be beautiful and contain beauty and appreciating it and life that much more because of it.

There is no scientific method, to my knowledge, that allows us to ask a rose if it likes how it smells or if it feels beautiful. There is Korilian photography that will show us when its stressed or at rest but, there is no way for our intelligence to communicate with the intelligence of a rose... if there is such a thing in either species.

Beauty remains in the eye of the beholder... beyond that "attractive" and perceptions of "attractive" features are the result of billions of years of evolution, trial and error, that have facilitated the survival of not only a mulitude of species, but, the survival of existance itself.

That is why I maintain that Ethics (and equivalent states) are physcial properties and inescapable laws that are quantifiable and intrinsic in all existing phenomena. Ethics serve as structural tensors that help maintain the very existance of the physcial (and perhaps other) planes.
 
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  • #27
hypnagogue
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Royce, I think I would appreciate your position more if you could logically distinguish it from the perception of so called secondary qualities such as color. All the arguments you have made thus far could be applied equally well to the position that color is not a subjective phenomenon but exists inherently in the objects we attribute it to. But there are many arguments against the idea that color is not a subjective phenomenon, and likewise these arguments can be put forth against your position in order to maintain that beauty, too, is a secondary quality or subjective phenomenon. So what arguments can you make for beauty existing inherently in objects we perceive to be beautiful that cannot also be made for color existing inherently in objects we perceive to be colorful?
 
  • #28
Royce
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
Royce, I think I would appreciate your position more if you could logically distinguish it from the perception of so called secondary qualities such as color. All the arguments you have made thus far could be applied equally well to the position that color is not a subjective phenomenon but exists inherently in the objects we attribute it to. But there are many arguments against the idea that color is not a subjective phenomenon, and likewise these arguments can be put forth against your position in order to maintain that beauty, too, is a secondary quality or subjective phenomenon. So what arguments can you make for beauty existing inherently in objects we perceive to be beautiful that cannot also be made for color existing inherently in objects we perceive to be colorful?

I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days since you brought it up. This is what I have come up with so far. There are two different aspects of color physically. one is the color of light itself determined by the frequence or wave length of the light which is determined by the energy level of the photon wave particles. We percieve the various frequencies that we can see as different colors
We may say, think, feel that one color is particularly beautiful to us because of its purity and hue. That of course is sujective; however it is that purity and frequency that is the physical properies of that light that make it, for us, beautiful. Those properities do not change and are inherent and intrinsic to that light that we call beautiful. It is the physical properties that determine the beauty of the light. We see the light and recognize and appreciate its beauty.

The other aspect of color is reflected or refracted color by an object such as humming birds or wings of a butterfly. It is the property of the structure of the wings or feathers that determine the color that is reflected or refracted that we see and call beautiful; thus, it is again the physical intrinsic propery of the reflecting surface that determine what we see, perceive, It is what we call beautiful.

Color is determined by physical properties of objects emitting, filtering as in colored glass, reflecting as in a rose or refracting as in the featers of a bird or scales of a butterfly's wing. We see and perceive these colors and may call them beautiful. That which makes one color beautiful and the other not is usually due to the purity and frequency of the color which is determined by the physical properties of the medium from which that color originates. It is the light or color that is beautiful. It is the properties of the origin tha determine the color of the light. Thos properties are intrinsic and thus the beauty is intrinsic.

How did I do so far?

Quantumcarl, you statement seems to contradict itself in my mind. You say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder yet later say that ethics, of which beauty is a part of, is intrinsic.
Are you agreeing with my position or did I misunderstand your post?
Possibly ou are saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that eye being able to see and appreciate beauty is due to billions of years of evolution and thus intrinsic? Please explain.
 
  • #29
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Royce

Quantumcarl, you statement seems to contradict itself in my mind. You say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder yet later say that ethics, of which beauty is a part of, is intrinsic.
Are you agreeing with my position or did I misunderstand your post?
Possibly ou are saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that eye being able to see and appreciate beauty is due to billions of years of evolution and thus intrinsic? Please explain.

There are people who find destruction beautiful. They are inviting their own destruction by way of an ethic law that goes... "what you love you become".... it does not mean destruction is beautiful. So in this case... beauty is in the eye of the beholder as in it is up to the observer what they decide is beautiful... not up to the object of their inquiry whether or not it is beautiful. Ethics is the object of inquiry and does not determine nor emanate beauty. We might find ethics beautiful... just as we might find the skeleton of a bird beautiful. Structural integrity is beautiful to us because it helps us to understand what is keeping us alive or in existence.

For the most part what humans find beautiful is married to the genetic and social programming we have accumilated over the millions of years as homo sapiens and over a billion or more years as living organisms.

This is a complicated topic... there are variables galore.

A butterfly will look beautiful to us while scaring the **** out of its natural predator with fake gigantic eyes produced by its genetic make up and displayed on its wings.

It came into this feature on its wings by way of trial and error. However... the process and outcome of trial and error is determined by survival. These markings exist today because they facilitated the survival of those butterflies with those markings.

Beauty is not a part of ethics. Survival and existence are facilitated by ethics... if you find existence beautiful, then you can thank ethics for its function in facilitating and continuing existence.
 
  • #30
Royce
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Okay, I think that I understand you position now, quantumcarl. I didn't follow the jump in topic from value, beauty to ethics. I could not figure out what ethics had to do with beauty or value unless there is an hierarchy in philosopy that I am ignorant of.

Simply sayig the beauty is in the eye of the beholder without support is a bit dogmatic. You then say that ethics is intrinsic. Why one and not the other. I don't understand your logic or thinking.

Back to beauty being intrinsic, while I realize that not everyone finds beauty in the same things or values everything the same both I think are at least generally universal in that a large number of people will find the same object beautiful to nearly the same degree.
This could be due to the fact that we are all the same species and have all been subjected to the same evolution or it could be that the object is beautiful in it's own right. Beauty is one of its intrinsic properties just as weight, size, composition etc.
I can not prove it nor can I disprove it. It really resolves itself to semantics and the definition of beauty i.e. a subjective quality in the eye of the beholder or a characteristic porpery of the object itself that is intrinsic.
Yes, we can reduce everything to physical science. Love is hormones and electrochemical reactions. A diamond is a pile of carbon in crystaline form. Beauty is nothing more tha a survival tactic though I fail to see how that appies to a mountain oe lake. This is the main reason why I am so anti-aristotelian. We lose so much when we reduce everything to its basic makeup to the point where it is unrecognizable.
There is more to life and the universe than physical science, matter and energy. The total is greater than the sum of its parts. If we look only at the parts we can never realize or see the greatness of the total. A rose is a rose is a roseand a rose by any other name is still a rose. It doesn't care what we call it. It doesn't care if we think it beautiful or not; nor does it care that it's beauty is only a survival technique. It could just have well looked and smelled like a pile of rotting dead meat or dung and still gotten insects to do its pollinating. It is a rose and it is beautiful whether anyone sees it or appreciates or not; and, the world is a better place and more beautiful because of roses choose by what ever means to be beautiful instead of offal.
 
  • #31
quantumcarl
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Royce:

"Beauty is one of its intrinsic properties just as weight, size, composition etc."

Carl:

If beauty is an intrinsic property just as gravity, relativity and complexity then whatever is perceived by a human to be "stupid" must be intrinsically "stupid" or... whatever is deemed "ugly" by a human or wombat is then intrinsically "ugly".

If what Royce says is true then when Jim-Bob perceives "ugly" in the Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa is intrinsically "ugly" and when Bob sees "beauty" in the Mona Lisa, it is intrinsically "beautiful".

Whereas, if what the old addage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" states is true... then the beholder is the one carrying the idea and the condition of "beauty" around with them... and the condition of "stupid" and or "ugly". This in turn is projected into all those states and conditions perceived to be external to the beholder.

EDIT: Therefore my secondary conclusion to this discussion is this:

All states, events, conditions and "things" intrinsically hold the POTENTIAL to be perceived as "beautiful", "ugly", "stupid", "benign" by any given observer.

Whether or not they hold this potential in the absence of an observer is up for debate.
 
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  • #32
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Royce
I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days since you brought it up. This is what I have come up with so far. There are two different aspects of color physically. one is the color of light itself determined by the frequence or wave length of the light which is determined by the energy level of the photon wave particles. We percieve the various frequencies that we can see as different colors
We may say, think, feel that one color is particularly beautiful to us because of its purity and hue. That of course is sujective; however it is that purity and frequency that is the physical properies of that light that make it, for us, beautiful. Those properities do not change and are inherent and intrinsic to that light that we call beautiful. It is the physical properties that determine the beauty of the light. We see the light and recognize and appreciate its beauty.

The other aspect of color is reflected or refracted color by an object such as humming birds or wings of a butterfly. It is the property of the structure of the wings or feathers that determine the color that is reflected or refracted that we see and call beautiful; thus, it is again the physical intrinsic propery of the reflecting surface that determine what we see, perceive, It is what we call beautiful.

Color is determined by physical properties of objects emitting, filtering as in colored glass, reflecting as in a rose or refracting as in the featers of a bird or scales of a butterfly's wing. We see and perceive these colors and may call them beautiful. That which makes one color beautiful and the other not is usually due to the purity and frequency of the color which is determined by the physical properties of the medium from which that color originates. It is the light or color that is beautiful. It is the properties of the origin tha determine the color of the light. Thos properties are intrinsic and thus the beauty is intrinsic.

How did I do so far?

Beauty has physical components, just like color does, of course. But to say that beauty is those physical properties, you have explain why beauty is not a specific kind of reaction to those properties by the brain. The former is what we call objective, the latter subjective.

Take color, for example. The wavelength of a ray of light is an inherent, objective property of that light. This property does not depend on what the brain does; it exists in its own right. Once this light strikes the retina, however, it produces the visual awareness of color, and this awareness is entirely a function of what the brain does with the sensory information produced in the eye. In a normal person, this wavelength of light will evoke, say, the subjective color red; operate on this person's brain in the suitable way, however, and that same wavelength of light will evoke what he used to call the subjective color blue.

Take this, then, to be the deciding factor of whether something is objective or subjective: if the phenomenon in question can be changed by changing the manner in which the brain functions, then it is subjective. Otherwise it is objective.

Applying this criterion to beauty, I find it difficult to conceive of how beauty could be an intrinsic property of an object. I smell a rose, and the smell is pleasant indeed; wire my brain up differently, however, and the same rose may smell vile and disgusting. What this indicates is that the odorous 'beauty' of the rose is not a property of the molecules themselves which carry the odor, but rather is a particular subjective percept that my brain generates upon being stimulated by these molecules. Thus, we may say that the subjective smell that is evoked in the average normally functioning person upon smelling a rose is beautiful, but not that the molecules of the rose themselves are the carriers of this odorous beauty.

Visual beauty is perhaps more subtle than the example above, but the same principles hold. I look upon the rose and see beauty; wire me up differently, and I may see the same conglomeration of shapes and colors as frightfully ugly.
 
  • #33
Royce
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I reiterate my position. Beauty is an intrinsic property. The ability to recognize and/or appreciate beauty is dependent on individual perception and is subjective.
Jim-bob's perceptions and his reaction to his perceptions are subjective and unigue to Jim-bob. His perception in no why changes the characteristic properties of that being perceived. Nor is there any way in which we as observers can know what it is that Jim-Bob perceives. I have no way of knowing that what I perceive as blue when I 'see' a certain wavelength of light is the same blue that you perceive when seeing the same wavelength. The frequency of the light does not change from person to person but the color perceived not only may change but most likely does change from person to person.
Yet we by convention call light of a certain frequence/wavelength blue. It is a characteristic property of light at that given wavelength that we define as blue. There are those who are color blind and cannot see blue at all or cannot distinguish it from green. This does not change the color of the light nor does it change it's charateristic propery of blue.
I maintain tha the word "beauty" can be substituted for the word "blue" above and the statements would retain there valitity and meaning. Beauty is a characteristic intrinsic propety, the perception of which is subjective and varied just as in color or anyother subjective perception of an intrinsic characteristic property.

Gold was valued for its beauty long before it had any economic value as were gem stones. While many gems have uses other than adornment they are coveted and valued mainly for their beauty. Some have no use at all other than as adornment because of their almost universally recognized and appreciated beauty. There is no obvious way that I can think of that this has any survival or procreational benifits at all. It is strictly because of their beauty that they are coveted and valued.
 
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  • #34
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by Royce
The frequency of the light does not change from person to person but the color perceived not only may change but most likely does change from person to person.
Yet we by convention call light of a certain frequence/wavelength blue. It is a characteristic property of light at that given wavelength that we define as blue. There are those who are color blind and cannot see blue at all or cannot distinguish it from green. This does not change the color of the light nor does it change it's charateristic propery of blue.

Of course it changes the color of the light. The color of the light exists only in the minds of the perceivers. There is no such thing as 'the characteristic property of blue' in the wavelength of light itself. The reason for this is that there is nothing more fundamental or correct about seeing in color than in seeing with colorblind vision. Both are in some sense arbitrary creations of the mind that are not inherent in the wavelength of light itself, but rather arise as separate functions of that wavelength, as encoded by the brain. So it is for beauty as well, until an argument comes along that can differentiate the ontology of beauty from the ontology of color.
 
  • #35
quantumcarl
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Actually, Royce, Gold was valued for its maliability and the fact that it does not corrode... the fact that its shiney and heavy was a plus... so is pyrite, silver, brass etc... but they tarnish whereas gold does not.

Potential is intrinsic... how that potential is interpreted or actualized is up to the individual.

I see a potential thread on potential raizing its ugly/beutiful/smelly/fragrant/stupid/intellegent/ridiculous/redundant head.
 

Suggested for: Value theory , ah?

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