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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old June 7th, 2011, 14:22 Thread Starter
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Absolute Beauty/Quality/Y

So beauty could either be i) absolute in the sense that it is independent of our opinion, ii) absolute in the sense that our brains are all wired the same way and all have a common opinion on the object (a dog could have a different opinion however), or iii) beauty is not absolute at all and is purely a matter of our personal opinions.

I don't think the latter possibility is completely the case. I think we can all agree that the Colosseum is more beautiful than a dog house. There must be something that explains why we all think that way.

When public opinion starts dividing though, we have issues. Between the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum, I imagine we cannot rank absolutely. I think this is fine. But between Mozart and N'Sync, where public opinion is also divided, is it for different reasons?

This is an issue that has bothered me often. I was reminded of it in the Zidane goal thread in WFF. I have a strong belief that A is better than B. It is so obvious to me that responding that this discussion is just a matter of opinion is ridiculous to me.

In the case of goals, I could rationalize my choice by adding that the difficulty in scoring the goal is an important factor. That seems to take away some matter of opinion.

Are there other such factors that could help us say that something is more beautiful than the other outside of opinion?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old June 8th, 2011, 23:16
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The difficulty of scoring a certain goal is subjective, if anything.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2011, 00:47
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Originally Posted by camelface View Post
So beauty could either be i) absolute in the sense that it is independent of our opinion, ii) absolute in the sense that our brains are all wired the same way and all have a common opinion on the object (a dog could have a different opinion however), or iii) beauty is not absolute at all and is purely a matter of our personal opinions.

I don't think the latter possibility is completely the case. I think we can all agree that the Colosseum is more beautiful than a dog house. There must be something that explains why we all think that way.

When public opinion starts dividing though, we have issues. Between the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum, I imagine we cannot rank absolutely. I think this is fine. But between Mozart and N'Sync, where public opinion is also divided, is it for different reasons?

This is an issue that has bothered me often. I was reminded of it in the Zidane goal thread in WFF. I have a strong belief that A is better than B. It is so obvious to me that responding that this discussion is just a matter of opinion is ridiculous to me.

In the case of goals, I could rationalize my choice by adding that the difficulty in scoring the goal is an important factor. That seems to take away some matter of opinion.

Are there other such factors that could help us say that something is more beautiful than the other outside of opinion?
Do not mix the things. Even if we have rules for science, there is still people who think they are wrong or given facts to be wrong, etc. So, it won't be something like Beauty that will grant you a system beyond failure.

The definition of Beauty must come in hand, if you use something that only a specialist can qualify, you will find norms, which wont please most people, because after all, they are not specialists. But if you allow beauty be taste, then it is a hell of subjectiveness.

No matter if you can definite what is a beautiful poem or not - a fact that remains is that appreciation of anything is the subjective part of all. And it is not affected only by our bias, but by the momment. You may find Zidane goal so beautiful and tomorrow think it was not...

And even if you have a factor - it is not a degree. It is not mathematical. I can tell you the rythim, the symbolism, the oral power of Yeats poems are what make them beautiful, but I cann't tell you that Leda and the Swan is a 7,2 while The Rose ofthe World is a 5,6. At some point, all is melted and all your knowledge in poetry cann't make the rank.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2011, 03:57 Thread Starter
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The difficulty of scoring a certain goal is subjective, if anything.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2011, 10:13
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Putting yourself in the position of a footballer, that's subjective. Apart from that, it's hard to meassure even in an antropomorphic way the difficulty in creating a beatiful sunset.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2011, 13:32 Thread Starter
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From having played football before I can tell you Zidane's goal is extremely difficult to execute, harder than Del Piero's, etc. I think all who have played would agree with me.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2011, 14:53
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You all happen to agree but that would hardly make it less subjective. The fact that you all try to put yourself in Zizou's place only adds to the subjectivity of it, as it were.

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Ive probably been the poster with most number of heated discussions in this board over the years.... and I can assure you I won at least 90% of them.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old June 10th, 2011, 00:19 Thread Starter
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I made 3 distinctions in my first post: all persons make their own opinion, all humans make their own opinion and agree, all possible beings that can recognize beauty agree therefore absolute beauty exists.

What about the 2nd????????????????
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old June 10th, 2011, 01:11
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A variant of the 2nd or 3rd there seems to be the one you applied on the Zidane goal - all humans (or all possible beings) (at least those who've tried a game of football) agree.

I understood the i) point from you first post in a different way, that is - absolute beauty as existing independent of our (or anyones) opinion.

I'm sensing a classic epistemological dilemma which isn't particular to aesthetics (in so far as it's a question of aesthetics at all).

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Ive probably been the poster with most number of heated discussions in this board over the years.... and I can assure you I won at least 90% of them.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old June 10th, 2011, 18:23 Thread Starter
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I wrote i) in two ways. It is beautiful independent of our minds, and all possible beings agree on its beauty. I don't think it's too important for this discussion. I didn't want to get into something about does beauty have to be perceived by a subject to exist, etc, etc. So by saying that all possible beings agree on its beauty, I am trying to make a similar universal or absolute claim.

And it is true. I think aesthetics isn't prominent in philosophy discussion because the main issues are the same that touch ethics. To solve one maybe is to solve the other, and there are bigger questions that involve both. I'm just not that interested in ethics.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old June 10th, 2011, 20:42
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OK, well I'm not sure there are such a thing that all possible beings can agree on as beautiful. I, for one, have seen Zidane's goal so many times it doesnt strike me with awe anymore, nor does the Colosseum. They've turned into kitsch, if you will, to me. Though I recognise, of course, that they'd both be impossible for me to imitate.

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Originally Posted by Ze da Fiel View Post
Ive probably been the poster with most number of heated discussions in this board over the years.... and I can assure you I won at least 90% of them.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old June 10th, 2011, 20:51
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