The Conceptualization of Beauty
Many art historians have argued that beauty is a universal quality that cannot be conceptualized. This belief casts doubt on the idea that there are any conditions that define beauty. For example, it may be difficult to find a common formal property of all objects. As a result, the concept of beauty has no ground in any one object. This has caused a decline in the study of aesthetics. There is still no consensus about the definition of the concept of aesthetics, but many theories exist.
The definition of beauty is a subjective concept that is influenced by the individual’s taste, appearance, and background. It is an objective concept that takes precedence over particular Forms. As such, beauty can be defined in any context. For example, a work may be considered to be beautiful if it pleases the eye or satisfies the aesthetic senses. Other characteristics of beauty may also include age, race, gender, body type, weight, and other factors.
The classical conception of beauty focuses on the symmetry of integral parts into a harmonious whole. It is the primative conception of beauty in the Western world and is reflected in the classical and neo-classical arts. Aristotle said in Metaphysics and Poetics that order is the chief quality of beauty, as it is the source of meaning. Likewise, Locke’s theories of color and aesthetics emphasized definiteness and symmetry as the sources of beauty.