Every day we are bombarded by advertisements, commercials, and conversations that tell us what is beautiful. Initially, we conduct our own analysis however; many of our beliefs are often tailored and altered by the opinions and so- called expert advice of others. As a result, many find themselves questioning and doubting their own interpretation and definition of “beauty”.
Today’s blog will focus our attention towards Arthur Schopenhauer and his thoughts extracted from his Third Book: The World as Idea, as he presents us with his notion of Beauty. So, you may ask…”just who is this guy?” Well, to be brief… Authur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a 19th century philosopher who grew up in Germany. Among many of his ideas, he advocated ways to overcome painful human conditions through artistic, moral, and ascetic forms of awareness. He questioned and contemplated, “What is the function of art, of the value of the arts for human life…” Because of his independent thinking and contributions, he has been credited with presenting his ideas in a more profound way than his predecessors, resulting in having a great impact on the poets, composers, and the “common man (and woman)” of his time.
Now, let us now take pause to read some of his words about “beauty”.
“… When we say that a thing is beautiful, we thereby assert that it is an object of our aesthetic contemplation, and this has a double meaning; on one hand, it means that the sight of the thing makes us objective, that is to say, that in contemplating it we are no longer conscious of ourselves as individuals, but as pure will-less subjects of knowledge; and on the other hand, it means that we recognize in the object, not the particular thing, but an Idea … Therefore it is that man is more beautiful than all of other objects, and the revelation of his nature is the highest aim of art. Human form and expression are the most important objects of plastic art, and human action the most important object of poetry. … “