Symmetry beautiful?

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Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 11:59 am
I have often wondered the role that symmetry and simplicity play in our interpretations of beauty.

Certainly detail is influential. Few people would find a perfect circle much to stop and admire about. Though if a few colors are added, then a few more shapes, and a few more colors and then the finished product being the Mona Lisa, people will come from miles around.

But I wonder if symmetry and simplicity if even sublimity play a role on our idea of beauty.
 
Emil
 
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 12:50 pm
@Lost2ize,
Lost2ize;104681 wrote:
I have often wondered the role that symmetry and simplicity play in our interpretations of beauty.

Certainly detail is influential. Few people would find a perfect circle much to stop and admire about. Though if a few colors are added, then a few more shapes, and a few more colors and then the finished product being the Mona Lisa, people will come from miles around.

But I wonder if symmetry and simplicity if even sublimity play a role on our idea of beauty.


Is it widely known by relevant experts (i.e. like evolutionary psychologists) that human beauty correlates with symmetry. It may be the case that we have evolved a general liking of symmetry even in non-humans.

Wikipedia.

And see David M. Buss, Evolutionary Psychology. (I read this. Excellent book.)
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 04:16 pm
@Lost2ize,
Lost2ize;104681 wrote:
I have often wondered the role that symmetry and simplicity play in our interpretations of beauty.

Certainly detail is influential. Few people would find a perfect circle much to stop and admire about. Though if a few colors are added, then a few more shapes, and a few more colors and then the finished product being the Mona Lisa, people will come from miles around.

But I wonder if symmetry and simplicity if even sublimity play a role on our idea of beauty.


yeah, Ive always found that when it comes to art, things like mandals always keep my stare the longest. I love thinking about each perfect little line in the big picture.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 11:13 am
@Lost2ize,
Symmetry is to sight what monotony is to music; but in people, and animals it is a sign of health which we do take as beautiful...
 
Camerama
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 05:00 pm
@Lost2ize,
Symmetry and efficiency are the only foundations of beauty
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 05:40 pm
@Camerama,
Camerama;104985 wrote:
Symmetry and efficiency are the only foundations of beauty

And money talks... Is anyone listening...
 
Camerama
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 10:18 pm
@Fido,
Fido;104996 wrote:
And money talks... Is anyone listening...



What are you trying to say?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 08:09 am
@Camerama,
Camerama;105054 wrote:
What are you trying to say?

Capital is always looking for greater efficiency, for higher profits rather than greater good...
 
Camerama
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 01:39 pm
@Lost2ize,
What can be a greater good than more wealth?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 02:23 pm
@Camerama,
Camerama;105166 wrote:
What can be a greater good than more wealth?

Wealth is salvage out of the wreckage of society....
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 02:55 pm
@Fido,
Fido;105173 wrote:
Wealth is salvage out of the wreckage of society....
Wreckage of society. Now that's beautiful. And symmetrical: Wreckage of.......society. Three syllables on each side.

Balance is part of composition... there's geometrical balance, like a triangle, or psychological balance like the picture by Gauguin showing a big face of Jesus taking up half the canvas and the little apostles in the background. The big face is bland.. the little figures draw one in.http://www.mystudios.com/art/post/gauguin/gauguin-christ-in-garden.jpg
 
Camerama
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 03:17 pm
@Fido,
Fido;105173 wrote:
Wealth is salvage out of the wreckage of society....


Thats a pretty way of damning your own existence. Are you saying wealth is acquired at the expense of society? That is an incredible statement. Wealth is the ability of man to think"(Ayn Rand). Would having humans that are actually worth a damn stop thinking, stop producing to appease your shapeless society?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 09:07 pm
@Camerama,
Camerama;105187 wrote:
Thats a pretty way of damning your own existence. Are you saying wealth is acquired at the expense of society? That is an incredible statement. Wealth is the ability of man to think"(Ayn Rand). Would having humans that are actually worth a damn stop thinking, stop producing to appease your shapeless society?

Read your Bible before preaching to me... Look at the world of Jesus: So poor that people were denying their financial obligation to their parents, and bringing lawsuits over a tunic...See him attacking the money changers on the temple steps, and why??? It seems that no one could make an offering with a foreign coin, so people had to change their money for them... But where did they get the coins of Judea???You do not have to be so smart to figure out that coins were recycled from within the temple to feed the pockets of parasites... And look at the priests who would not help the man set upon by thieves, and why??? Well, to touch blood would have required a month of ritual cleaning, so to protect their livelyhoods they walked on by...And in that poor place thick with poor people, were people were fighting over a slight difference of wages, there was money... The Roman Colloseum was built out of the spoils of the city of Jerusalem...The money was there but only those with a way into the preistly class could have any, and when the bled to death Jews rebeled against Rome, Jeruselem could not defend itself, so they ruined their society for no gain to themselves, unless the diaspora is cast in a soft light...

We might well say the rich are intelligent, but not all of the intelligent are rich...The rich have their share of dolts too, but they usually find a smart lawyer to separate them from their cash...Our society has long since become frozen, resistent to change and offering very few opportunities...We can count the smart, the inventive, and the determined rich easily enough, but we have no idea how many are stiffled, and ruined, and discouraged for lack of any true opportunity...

It happens in every society and every social form... They all reach a point of taking more life from the people than they give to the people...That point Montaigne made still goes: The profit of one is the loss of another, and we can find many people who can be taken... Why stop at the unintelligent??? Why not take the old, the young, or any body without the ability to resist... Well; it is upon the powerless that the rich feast, and not because it is justifyable, but because they can... Might is their right...
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 09:51 pm
@Lost2ize,
The most profound mathematical expressions of physical law also show symmetry, simplicity and elegance. Symmetry and beauty and truth are closely correlated.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 06:12 am
@prothero,
prothero;105275 wrote:
The most profound mathematical expressions of physical law also show symmetry, simplicity and elegance. Symmetry and beauty and truth are closely correlated.

I hate to spoil your sport, but, as truth is an infinite, and no one has seen the whole thing, so how can we say there is symmetry??? Our truth might be a shanker on the nose of reality, and we will never know...
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 06:23 pm
@Fido,
Fido;105365 wrote:
I hate to spoil your sport, but, as truth is an infinite, and no one has seen the whole thing, so how can we say there is symmetry??? Our truth might be a shanker on the nose of reality, and we will never know...
Just a matter of perspective I suppose.
One can see the universe as souless and indifferent
or
One can see the universe as alive and enchanted.
All physical laws and most aesthetic objects contain symmetry.
It is the sort of coincidence like the ability to rationally understand nature and the ability of the earth to support life that some see as chance and coincidence and others as purpose and intention.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 04:39 pm
@prothero,
prothero;105485 wrote:
Just a matter of perspective I suppose.
One can see the universe as souless and indifferent
or
One can see the universe as alive and enchanted.
All physical laws and most aesthetic objects contain symmetry.
It is the sort of coincidence like the ability to rationally understand nature and the ability of the earth to support life that some see as chance and coincidence and others as purpose and intention.

Imagination is no substitute for perspective...If we do not know, then no amount of wonder helps us...
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 08:35 pm
@Fido,
Fido;105677 wrote:
Imagination is no substitute for perspective...If we do not know, then no amount of wonder helps us...
I think you are quite wrong about that. Imagination and wonder help us quite a bit, in fact even in science it is the sense of imagination and wonder and an appreciation for symmetry, beauty and elegance that lead to the most profound insights.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 12:25 am
@prothero,
prothero;105720 wrote:
I think you are quite wrong about that. Imagination and wonder help us quite a bit, in fact even in science it is the sense of imagination and wonder and an appreciation for symmetry, beauty and elegance that lead to the most profound insights.
In science we have some perspective, so what we imagine is never simply imagination, but is a possible step based upon many previous steps... Before the examples of diversity had been accumulated by natural science the theory of evolution would not have been possible given just about any amount of imagination, but when it was suggested it was the next logical step....

Consider if in science that symmetry holds true... Look for examples in biology...We do not just have sterio isomers, but many forms of isomers... The world is not just recto verso, dextro levo...Not all opposites are antipods...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 12:44 am
@Lost2ize,
We like symmetry. We like twins. We like singularities. We like triangles. Perhaps it's hard-wired. I always think of Pythagoras and Plato and how philosophy is rooted in the mysticism and beauty of geometry. (So I've read..)

I think Jung's notion of archetype is highly applicable to trends in philosophic thought as well as art and perhaps even architecture. What does something like the Washington Monument mean? Then of course we have the pyramids.

2 cents.
 
 

 
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