“Beauty” is commonly defined as the aesthetic quality of certain objects, which makes these objects pleasant to see. These objects may include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and other works of art. Beauty, along with beauty and art, is perhaps the most important theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of applied psychology. A number of psychological theories support the idea that beauty has emotional as well as cognitive elements. In addition, there are many areas of study that attempt to describe and analyze the relation between beauty and its affect on human behavior and emotions.
It is generally agreed that beauty has many different psychological components, each contributing to its emotional and psychological nature. It includes, on one hand, the object’s visual nature; its ability to elicit an aesthetic reaction (what we call aesthetic experience) and its ability to generate particular emotions or motives (emotional response). Another component is the relationship between the beauty of an object and its utility (how much it satisfies our needs). Beauty also includes the relationship between one another, which may be described in terms of the need and satisfaction that each object’s presence fulfills for us.
A variety of theories and arguments have been developed over time to provide evidence for the basic concepts of beauty. The most influential among them are the theories of aesthetic beauty, philosophy of beauty and the philosophy of desire. Each of these theories offers a rich and complex explanation of beauty, providing a rich palette of ideas for artists, musicians, writers and others interested in beauty.
The central thesis of aesthetics is that beauty is a subjective state that depends on the inner emotional life of the beholder. According to this thesis, beauty is not something that can be objectively measured and studied, as can be the case with mathematics, music and other sciences. Beauty, according to this view, exists independent of the cultural and social context in which it finds itself. Beauty exists in the mind of the beholder and can only be objectively measured and studied by those who share the same subjective experiences. Beauty therefore is the subjective experience of beauty.
The other major thesis of philosophical aesthetics is that beauty is objective in nature, a quality that can be scientifically measured. According to this view, the physical attributes of beauty, such as shape, size, color, line, texture and composition, are independent of the experience of the beholder. Beauty thus has a clear place in science, although some philosophers argue that beauty is not a quality but a relation between objects that have no external reference. This subjective theory of beauty does not conflict with the other two major thesis of aesthetic naturalism.
Philosophical aesthetics considers that the definition of beauty varies depending on who is talking and what they are doing. Some definitions of beauty are subjective, while others are objective. However, all agree on the idea that beauty exists independent of what the beholder sees. It is only through experience that we come to know the beauty and become conscious of its qualities. Beauty therefore is only a subjective state experienced by the one who sees it, or in other words, beautiful things are beautiful for their own selves, not for others.