x asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Is beauty subjective or objective ?

i.e, does beauty lie in the object (or the subject in context) or in the perception of a person's feelings and imagination?


if its a symmetry then what creates the symmetry?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The answer is, of course, both. It is infinitely hard to define where objectivity ends and subjectivity starts, however. When we look at paintings or listen to music, what we like is a matter of taste: impressionism, pointillism, expressionism, rock, jazz, classical, etc. And yet, what is considered "good" in these different styles can often be largely agreed upon by societies. As a culture, we may decide that a high rounded forehead is the zenith of feminine beauty, or we may decide that bust size is more important. But some women objectively have the right shaped head or the right sized bust. It is like asking, what is more important to shaping individual personality, genetics or environment? In the old "nature vs. nurture" debate, the answer is both, and just where heredity leaves off and acculturation takes over is impossible at this time to define.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Beauty; " that which is esthetically pleasing ". Your perceptions of symmetry are evolved, for very good reasons. Good function follows good form, in nature. Witness the form of proteins and their symmetrical, function following form. You will see many answers that have a relativistic or imprecise definition of beauty here, but beauty has been being quantified at least since the time of Darwin.

    PS Nothing, except man and a few animals, " create " symmetry. It is a natural, developmental process in humans. That is mediated well, or not, by the environment. You are evolved to appreciate symmetry in all things formed; from rocks for tool making, to the aesthetic pleasure of a sunset.

  • ..
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    To me it lies in the perception of the object.

    Very subjective for me. It's not of what is observed but it is the way it is observed and/or the perception of the person looking.

    Damn, i can't remember what philosopher it was but he stated many profound n mind-blowing truths in his day. anyways, he thought the most beautiful thing he had ever seen was the marching of the SS soldiers in Hitler's nazi germany. In this case such a sensitive mind with many insights could see beauty in something as destructive and ugly as soldiers marching in line. All in his perception of things.

    Oh, i just asked a few questions if ya get a chance. No reposts, new ones! lol.

  • 1 decade ago

    Definitely in perception--why else do we say that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?

    There are some things that other parts of the world consider to be beautiful that Westerners, as a rule, can't fathom. For example, here in the States we seem to admire women who are very thin, while other cultures see heavily-set women as beautiful.

    It all comes down, I think, to a matter of taste.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Subjective. It is dependant upon the perception and taste of the person experiencing it.

    Xan Shui,

    Philosophic Philanthropist, Honest Man

  • 1 decade ago

    I would have to classify it as subjective, because beauty is merely a word we use to describe something captivating and appealing to the eye.

    It could be said that beauty is a value of the of a stimulus's effect on one's current emotional status (emphasizing on the emotions that trigger or provoke: a diversion of the mind's attention, desires in the mind, vulnerability to criticism (positive or negative)feelings of inspiration and hope, manipulation of free will (which would be a pheromonal effect), etc.; and to varying degrees degrees.)

  • 1 decade ago

    Very likely it is subjective. Think about how some natives in Africa decorate themselves in order to be considered beautiful. I have read that we usually think a person is beautiful if they appear to be the "average" of all "faces." That is, the more "average" they are, the more beautiful we think they are.

    I don't think I agree with this.

  • 1 decade ago

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is also more to beauty than just looks. That being said subjective.

  • 1 decade ago

    Its both of course. Most everybody would agree that say... a Rolls-Royce is a beautiful motorcar. Personally, its not exactly my style... When it comes to women, most- not all of them- others would also agree to their beauty.

    In conclusion,

    To the world you may be one person- but to one person you may mean the world.

  • 1 decade ago

    On a cientific aproach, beauty is objective. It has everything to do with symmetry

    For instance, Facial Symmetry : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_symmetry

    But we are humans and we have, as you say, "feelings and imagination", so your question is a no-answer question!

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