Beauty Reconsidered

Date recorded: 29 May 2013 | Speaker: William Edgar | Event: ELF Workshop
Topic: PhilosophyAreasAesthetics


Although the notion of beauty has a noble pedigree, in recent times it has been under attack. For relativists, there can never be universal, objective standards for beauty. For philosophers in the tradition of Nietzsche beauty is all about power: calling something beautiful is to assert arbitrary authority over it. Even for some Christians the notion of beauty is suspiciously Platonic, and sub-biblical. Should we then eliminate the whole concept of beauty and find other language to deal with the aesthetic dimension of life? This session suggests a way both to preserve the idea of beauty and to steer clear of the pitfalls. Illustrations from the history of art will be used to support the arguments.