Why do we know beauty?

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Why do we know beauty?

Postby Event Horizon on September 24th, 2019, 9:11 pm 

Why is it that we have a sense of beauty at all? Surely the brain likes things similar to its own self image.
But why do we attribute beauty to music or cars or the cosmos. This has no reproduction benefit, so what makes beauty so captivating, and why do we Otten all agree that this or that is beautiful whatever cultures view it?
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Re: Why do we know beauty?

Postby zetreque on September 27th, 2019, 1:00 pm 

Lately I have been wondering why individuals are attracted to certain natural environments over others. (For example: why one ravine outlook looks better and is more popular than another) It's not consistent in one person might prefer desert while another the jungle so it's probably largly a part of psychological conditioning (unfortunantly leading most people conditioned to city environments and afraid of the outdoors) but I feel there is probably evolutionary roots in it as well such as being drawn to food and water resources.
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Re: Why do we know beauty?

Postby Serpent on September 27th, 2019, 4:49 pm 

Event Horizon » September 24th, 2019, 8:11 pm wrote:Why is it that we have a sense of beauty at all?

Several survival advantages: acuity/ fine distinction / discernment in our visual perception enables us to notice changes, differences, details; to distinguish prey from predator tracks, for example, or poisonous plants from similar edible ones, healthy fish from diseased; a more passable path or a better campsite. No small factor in the selection of mates, either!
Over the course of social evolution, we added a further facet to visual and auditory acuity: imagination. That enabled us to enhance our personal appearance and our belongings. The concept of beauty comas many thousands of years after the perception of it, and the language to communicate this extra faculty comes later still.


Surely the brain likes things similar to its own self image.

Does your mirror bear out this assumption? For a great many people, it does not: witness the multi-billion-dollar cosmetics industry.

But why do we attribute beauty to music or cars or the cosmos.

Because the faculty now exists, and it has evolved, along with our social development. We are capable of appreciating a great many things that are of no immediate use to us. But those examples don't belong in the same category. The beauty of music is physiological and psychological - acts directly on the unconscious mind. The beauty of man-made artifacts is emotional and intellectual - acts through a complex of conditioned responses. The beauty of the cosmos is almost in the imagination; the idea acts on one's sense awe in contemplating what one can't experience. (BTW - in this, I do not include pretty pictures of nebulae or galaxies - those we admire for being pretty pictures, just as we respond to an abstract painting)

This has no reproduction benefit,

It has life-enhancing benefit. If you do not take pleasure in living, you're less likely to contribute to your community or procreate.

so what makes beauty so captivating, and why do we Otten all agree that this or that is beautiful whatever cultures view it?

The degree of captivation is far from universal, but humans do all have a good deal in common - as to physical attributes, requirements, capabilities and experiences - underneath all regional and cultural differences. The differences in art appreciation are as as wide between generations as they are between cultures - while the appreciation of natural beauty seems pretty much uniform, regardless of age or background.
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Re: Why do we know beauty?

Postby dandelion on September 29th, 2019, 1:48 pm 

I like Serpent's mention of notions concerning this capacity with continuing evolution.
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Re: Why do we know beauty?

Postby Fuqin on October 3rd, 2019, 1:57 pm 

Beauty is a map of attraction that has no advantage or disadvantage just an ecosystem of natural biological gravity's
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