View Poll Results: What is beauty?

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  • Subjective

    16 24.24%
  • Objective

    22 33.33%
  • Both/neither subjective and/nor objective

    26 39.39%
  • No idea

    2 3.03%
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Thread: Is Beauty Really Subjective?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Phlegethon's Avatar
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    Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies?
    and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
    I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
    For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
    and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    Every angel is terrifying.


    from: Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, First Elegy
    And all my youth passed by sad-hearted,
    the joy of Spring was never mine;
    Autumn blows through me dread of parting,
    and my heart dreams and longs to die.

    - Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850)

    Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.

    - Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

  2. #42
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    In the physical sense it's probably objective, and has to do with fitness of genes. Same thing with a beautiful personality, mind, ect.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DriftWood View Post
    In the physical sense it's probably objective, and has to do with fitness of genes. Same thing with a beautiful personality, mind, ect.
    If we only talk about people: how can it be objective then if everybody is living in an own socioecological niche?
    If we do not exclusively talk about people: WTF?!? Noob!
    Ceterum censeo Iudaeam esse delendam.

  4. #44
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    I have recently heard it said multiple times by various media that Hussein Obama is a handsome man. This is proof beyond doubt to me that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

  5. #45
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    Beauty may NOT be in the eye of the beholder

    Psychologists find there are clear rules that makes something attractive.

    Until now, it’s been believed that beauty is impossible to measure. This study has found that is not the case.

    Love at first sight IS real: Study finds we register beauty in less than a second because it triggers a rush of pleasure similar to eating candy

    • New York University researchers are analyzing how beauty affects us
    • In this part, they found that we decide within a second if something it beautiful
    • They also found evidence - for the first time - that the 'experience' can be measured: beauty appears to trigger a rush of pleasure

    Love at first sight is real - and it triggers a rush of pleasure akin to the euphoria triggered by sugar, psychologists have found.

    The experience of beauty has been the subject of fascination for philosophers for millennia, but psychologists have struggled to concretely measure it.

    Almost every philosopher that's tackled it - from Plato to Kant - has espoused that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to experience that beauty, the beholder must keenly study the subject.

    Most conclude that it is an ineffable 'experience' that could last minutes, days, or even a lifetime.

    However, a new study by New York University psychologists has found it is much more simple than that: they found that it takes a person just one second to register that they find something beautiful.

    What's more, it is not impossible to quantify, as previously thought: when a person sees something beautiful, they experience an intense jolt of pleasure.

    'We say hedonists should skip the candy and go straight to beauty - it's exactly the same,' Denis Pelli, psychology professor at NYU who co-authored the study alongside his doctoral student Aenne Brielmann, told DailyMail.com.

    The new research, published today in the journal Current Biology, is a piece of a broader puzzle that is the subject of Brielmann's PhD project: trying to understand how 'beauty' can be measured, to better understand how it affects our actions in day-to-day life.

    'Beauty is famously subjective and supposed to be intractable by science - but some of its key properties follow simple rules,' Pelli said.

    'Philosophers have long supposed the feeling of beauty is a special kind of pleasure. Yet, our analysis of research in the field shows the feeling of beauty may merely be a very intense pleasure - not otherwise special.'

    Brielmann said she was drawn to investigate this assumption in the same way that neuro-economists study the link between financial decisions and the brain's development to understand people's shopping habits.

    The complete project will take years, but to get there, Brielmann and Pelli are conducting a series of small studies to chip away at that question.

    Last month, they released on segment of their findings: that beauty requires attention. In order to fully feel the beauty of a person or object, we need to be fully focused on that thing. Study participants who were multitasking while beholding something 'beautiful' were less moved by its beauty than those who were doing nothing else.

    The latest installment of the project Brielmann and Pelli, looks at whether beauty really is an indefinable, unquantifiable experience - or whether it is a quick hit based on measurable factors.

    To investigate, they analyzed almost 2,500 years of writing and research on beauty - from Greek philosopher Plato to 18th century German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten, 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde and early psychologist Gustav Fechner - along with the most recent research in neuroscience.

    The study focused on the growing field of 'empirical aesthetics' - a branch of psychology that looks at concrete ways to measure how people experience beauty and art.

    They found that throughout history, for example, the most alluring angle for the curve of a woman's spine where it meets her bottom has been 45 degrees.

    Today, the reasons may be more sexual, but historically this was because our ancestors interpreted a curved back as a sign that a female could walk more easily while pregnant.

    These 'rules' of beauty matter in the daily choices we make. Each year consumers spend millions of pounds - and countless hours - to acquire, or enhance, beauty.

    Asymmetric beauty is another classic measurement of beauty, which has persisted throughout time.

    However, Brielmann warns: 'One should be cautious not to over-generalize the beauty of these features. Averages ignore the large differences in taste between us.

    Marilyn Monroe's beauty mark, for example, 'is a blatant exception to the general rule that symmetry enhances beauty.'

    The researchers also highlighted observational evidence backing a centuries-old claim by philosophers - that the experience of beauty is a feeling of pleasure. As one increases so does the other.

    'It is widely assumed the experience of beauty requires prolonged contemplation. But our primer reveals that a fraction of a second is enough.'

    Brielmann and Pelli point to findings by neuroscientists that show such experiences increase activity in one of the 'pleasure centers' in the brain known as the orbito-frontal cortex.

    The researchers say a clearer understanding of beauty could change the way we understand decision making, and that their study may be the one to offer some empirical reference points to do so - even if it does dampen the romanticism of almost everything.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...ists-find.html

  6. #46
    Senior Member Žoreišar's Avatar
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    The notion of 'symmetry' deciding how beautiful a face is considered, never made much sense. I know of several people I would consider highly beautiful, despite having obvious asymmetrical features. This Norwegian celebrity comes to mind:

    Name:  978x.jpg
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    I think facial proportions are much more vital than symmetry.

    dfxgdfjTkhI
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    A wave of passionate energy which unites past, present and future generations

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  8. #47
    Senior Member The Mercian's Avatar
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    I don’t think it’s subjective.

    Males that have more masculine features are universally seen as attractive by all ethnic groups, no matter where the male is from, and feminine guys are always seen as unattractive.

    Same for women with feminine features, universally attractive (which is why the better looking Asian girls do well on dating websites).

    Equally, we are usually more attracted to people who are ethnically similar to ourselves.

    So it’s not subjective to the individual, any deviance from this is most likely due to environmental (also indoctrinational) causes; no-one would find a fatty attractive without mass indoctrination.

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