Aesthetics Imprinted? Glue for Reality?

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Aesthetics
  3. » Aesthetics Imprinted? Glue for Reality?

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:41 pm
Why is it that we find the environment of nature so beautiful, but an artificial environment tends not to be. Streets, subways, gas stations, buildings, in general, are not beautiful.

But why do we consider (I think we) trees, lakes, mountains, etc. to be beautiful; what hasn't been hindered by humanity.

I would at first think that with humanity's construsion with something would make it more beautiful, but thats not the case. Maybe beauty can be defined through primordial influences that holds the same potential on humanity's beginning, and as such, would be genetically encoded, to continue to give beauty reason.

Basically, a snapshot of the environment that existed when the human race began, (or some other primate if you want to get technical), is what defines our aesthetic ideal. And the changing genetic code results in beauty being able to be defined as change.

So a heavily altered person (genetically), would result in different views of what is beauty and what isn't. Disorders, could lead to people believing that war is beautiful, rather than the idea of love and peace.

And so, our consciousness puts places, ideas over others on instinct, one way through beauty.

And then I have to question what force in the beginning of humanity would result in paralleled beauty through the environment seen at that time. Maybe there is a causal sense of stability that could be seen as inertia to evolving. We only change for the betterment of the environment, so we make it beautiful by genetic alteration. We become a premise for the reality we perceive.
 
FatalMuse
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:56 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I think a lot depends on your daily environment. Someone from the city is likely to find a trip into nature incredibly beautiful because it's a departure from the norm. Whereas someone from a very rural setting may visit a city for the first time and find the architecture (and possibly even the gas stations) beautiful - though many would not.

An example in literature: In the Grapes of Wrath where they stop at a gas station and Ma uses the 'patent toilet', flushing, for the first time. She comes back and comments on how beautiful it is. Beauty in a toilet? Why not! It's new, it's sanitary, it has flowing water.

But on the question of nature, I think man is genetically conditioned to find beauty in nature because it has been with us from the very beginning and we rely on it. We also now live in such a linear, geometric environment that we're enjoying nature for its non-linear dynamics (though we clearly don't even need to know those terms to enjoy it).

I think if I was to spend months in purely natural surroundings and return to civilization, I would marvel at how beautiful my shiny stainless steel coffee machine is.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:06 pm
@FatalMuse,
FatalMuse wrote:
I think a lot depends on your daily environment. Someone from the city is likely to find a trip into nature incredibly beautiful because it's a departure from the norm. Whereas someone from a very rural setting may visit a city for the first time and find the architecture (and possibly even the gas stations) beautiful - though many would not.


Yes but say that person decided to live in the city for most of their life and then went back to live in the rural setting. Which would be more beautiful to them?

FatalMuse wrote:
An example in literature: In the Grapes of Wrath where they stop at a gas station and Ma uses the 'patent toilet', flushing, for the first time. She comes back and comments on how beautiful it is. Beauty in a toilet? Why not! It's new, it's sanitary, it has flowing water.


She never found beauty in the toilet but beauty in the innovation.

FatalMuse wrote:
But on the question of nature, I think man is genetically conditioned to find beauty in nature because it has been with us from the very beginning and we rely on it. We also now live in such a linear, geometric environment that we're enjoying nature for its non-linear dynamics (though we clearly don't even need to know those terms to enjoy it).


Yes, thats the way I wish I had worded it. I can never get it right. Except for linear and non linear, because I do not believe that it is the change itself we find beautiful, unless... perhaps we are emotionally stimulated by genetic alteration at some level where aesthetic ideals are majorly influenced. Maybe, now I see where you're at.:cool::brickwall:

FatalMuse wrote:
I think if I was to spend months in purely natural surroundings and return to civilization, I would marvel at how beautiful my shiny stainless steel coffee machine is.


Yes but relatively, I would find more beauty in nature than in a stainless steel coffee machine.Laughing
Unless of course I was the one who built it, and had time with it, to find beauty in its potential. Maybe thats what we find beautiful, is potential. And potential has become instinctual in the natural realms that existed from the beginning. Instinctual would actually respresent more time than that of change.:a-ok: So I think if we molded our prospects theres a better theory.
We need Kethril on this one, Laughing.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 06:46 am
@FatalMuse,
Very good post Fatal. if I may venture some thoughts on your response...


FatalMuse wrote:
I think a lot depends on your daily environment. Someone from the city is likely to find a trip into nature incredibly beautiful because it's a departure from the norm. Whereas someone from a very rural setting may visit a city for the first time and find the architecture (and possibly even the gas stations) beautiful - though many would not.


I've no doubt that you're right in persons first encountering the unfamiliar as being 'titillated', but is this not more an example of 'interest' or 'excitement' in something new? When we first see something that fascinates us, is this "beauty" necessarily? I'm guessing it could be, but in the aforementioned examples it strikes me as more titillation than 'beauty'. Yes?


FatalMuse wrote:
An example in literature: In the Grapes of Wrath where they stop at a gas station and Ma uses the 'patent toilet', flushing, for the first time. She comes back and comments on how beautiful it is. Beauty in a toilet? Why not! It's new, it's sanitary, it has flowing water.


MOST excellent example and a capital book. That entire episode (the things they first encounter as they bee-bop down the road is simply precious. If I may quote one I found VERY telling From "Grapes of Wrath", (Chapter 15) John Steinbeck [1]:[INDENT] "The big cars on the highway. Languid, heat-raddled ladies, small nucleuses about whom revolve a thousand accouterments: creams, ointments to grease themselves, coloring matter in phials- black, pink, red, white, green, silver- to change the color of hair, eyes, lips, nails, brows, lashes, lids. Oils, seeds, and pills to make the bowels move. A bag of bottles, syringes, pills, powders, fluids, jellies to make their sexual intercourse safe, odorless, and unproductive. And this apart from clothes. What a hell of a nuisance!

Lines of weariness around the eyes, lines of discontent down from the mouth, breasts lying heavily in little hammocks, stomach and thighs straining against cases of rubber. And the mouths panting, the eyes sullen, disliking sun and wind and earth, resenting food and weariness, hating time that rarely makes them beautiful and always makes them old.
"[/INDENT]Probably not *exactly* the same place from whence the Toilet Example comes. But same lines of discovering the new

FatalMuse wrote:
But on the question of nature, I think man is genetically conditioned to find beauty in nature because it has been with us from the very beginning and we rely on it. We also now live in such a linear, geometric environment that we're enjoying nature for its non-linear dynamics (though we clearly don't even need to know those terms to enjoy it).


Agree completely (and I hadn't thought much of the linear civilization/non-linear nature aspect - nice twist, it strikes me as true). As a matter of fact, we actually fleshed a good bit of this point out on this thread which you (and perhaps others) might find interesting on Nature and 'Natural' Aesthetic Appeal.

Very good perspectives, although I think there must needs be a large differentiation between the excitement of the new and beauty. Yes, they most certainly can overlap, but I'd think that one doesn't necessarily equate to the other. Thoughts?

Thanks again



------------------------
[1] Original Copyright 1939 Viking Press, ISBN 0 14 02.4775 0
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 08:57 am
@Khethil,
I think that much of the problem with the ugliness of man-made things has to do with society being woefully ignorant of aesthetic appeal. To much focus is put on the economics of things rather than the rewards of aesthetic beauty. Take architecture for example. Society could build building with aesthetic appeal, but instead chooses to build McMansions and large lifeless steel buildings. They are not built to last because they have little to no appeal other than in the realm of economics or utility.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:52 am
@Theaetetus,
Hi Mom!Smile

The most outstanding difference in the appreciation of the beauty of nature and that of the creations of man, is I believe, in ones perception of the renewable nature of natural creations. There is an energy there in the constructions of nature, it is a living process. The constructions of human creation though impressive, do not have this quality in and of themselves, in and of themselves, there is nothing renewable about them. Even the landscapes of nature are of a renewable nature, landscapes are in constant process of ware and renewal.



"When facism comes to America, it will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Stclair Lewis----------think Bush!!
 
socrato
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 08:59 pm
@boagie,
You know that you just said mom.
 
FatalMuse
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:37 pm
@socrato,
Quote:
She never found beauty in the toilet but beauty in the innovation.


But the toilet is a representation of innovation, and she is therefore still finding beauty in a creation of man. It might not the be the structure that she finds beautiful but more the functionality of the toilet. The same argument could easily be made for how people find waterfalls beautiful. It may not be the aesthetic of the waterfall but what it represents - clean, running water which is essential for not only sanitation but survival. Or clouds, trees etc all represent things that serve some (if only sub-consciously realized) function for us. They are not only useful, but essential for survival. Can we ever really state we find these things beautiful for purely aesthetic reasons when we also rely on them for survival?

However, I feel more strongly about the linear/non-linear argument for why we find nature beautiful - and I also will say that personally, I find nature far more beautiful than anything man has created.

Quote:
Very good perspectives, although I think there must needs be a large differentiation between the excitement of the new and beauty. Yes, they most certainly can overlap, but I'd think that one doesn't necessarily equate to the other. Thoughts?


An excellent point and I tend to agree that it is more excitement of the new than simply beauty. I still feel though that you will encounter some people in life who find more beauty in man-made objects than natural surroundings.

Another point I was thinking while reading the replies above:
A lot of people find architecture to be beautiful on aesthetic merits alone. This has to be the case as a lot of buildings are constructed to appear beautiful while compromising a lot in terms of function & economy. But then, in the same regards, a lot of architecture is striving vigorously to resemble forms we see in the natural word. A contemporary example would be the bird-nest stadium for the current Olympics.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Aesthetics
  3. » Aesthetics Imprinted? Glue for Reality?
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 11/28/2020 at 06:09:47