The Nature of Beauty
Classical philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras believed that beauty resided in proper measure or size fitted harmoniously into a seamless whole.
Medieval theologian St. Augustine thought that beauty was synonymous with pure geometric form and balance.
German renaissance painter Albrecht Durer understood beauty to be aspirational rather than absolute since “…there lives on earth no beautiful person who could not be more beautiful.”
British conservative politician and philosopher Edmund Burke believed that beauty was to be found in the small, the smooth, the gradually variant, the delicate, the fair, the mild, and the pleasant.
The moral philosopher Immanuel Kant defined beauty as an aesthetic which universally pleases.
Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy believed that beauty provoked pleasure.
Humanist philosopher George Santayana called Beauty “pleasure objectified.”
Contemporary psychologist and cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff declared in ‘Survival of the Prettiest, The Science of Beauty’ that “Beauty ensnares hearts, captures minds, and stirs up emotional wildfires… it gives pleasure to the senses and exalts the mind and spirit... It is most powerful when experienced not as a rational contemplation but as a response to physical urgency.”