An Informal Proof on Beauty

Beauty = Complexity
Complexity does not always equal beauty.

- What must be added to complexity to achieve beauty is a sensual order; the ordered complexity reaches the ear and the sounds alone must be pleasing.

Beauty does not equal Content.

-If beauty in art was the mere content we lose objectivity and adopt relativity unknowingly. In this scenario we must regard scribblings on paper interpreted as King David equal in beauty to that of the statue of David.

-The content of art is only what we attempt to communicate, and it is up to us as artisans to make it beautiful.

-As Demetrius says in his "On Style": It is possible to rob a subject of its dignity.

Beauty does not equal "evocation of emotion".

-We run into the same problem as we did with content, since emotion is brought on by the content. Emotion is a bye-product of the initial beauty; it is only a bonus.

-If a Christian listens to a theologian talk of God and his systematic he will not weep. But upon hearing a four part harmony choir sing "Eternal Father" they are much more susceptible to their emotions. Why is that? The composer of "Eternal Father" had the correct choice of poetry in the lyrics and the complexity of the music was a apparently beautiful in its own right. They made it devotional so they had something to communicate as a musician and so they may praise God as a Christian.


CDJT said...

What about things that are considered beautiful by many people that are simple in their form, not complex? Do you mean to say that those things are not beautiful? You define beauty as complexity, but make no argument proving it to be so. You have said that emotions can be aroused through beauty, and matters of subject that are not inherently beautiful can be portrayed in a non-beautiful way. That is certain. But how does that lead to "beauty = complexity"? Complexity can add to the beauty of the thing, but is it always complexity that arouses emotions? Is everything that you would call "inherently beautiful" complex?

Evan Gunn said...

Niagara Falls is beautiful. Why?

I am not saying that the simple things cannot have a degree of beauty; I do say that those things with added complexity have more beauty. Some simple things are simply beautiful, but some larger, more complex things ave greater beauty.

I do not make an argument. I provide a definition. My definition is applicable to everything and works. Why would you disagree? You don't give any definition, but you try to contradict mine, because you cannot stand being told that your artistic preferences are not good art. You and your haiku .

CDJT said...

I am actually perfectly fine with criticism on my artistic preferences. If you think that haiku is bad, feel free to tell me that. Your post is titled "An Informal Proof," but if you are not attempting to make an argument in favor of your definition, how can you call it a proof?

You state, also, that a sensual order must be added to complexity, thereby admitting that complexity is only a part of beauty, contradicting your previous statement that beauty=complexity.
Your idea of what other than complexity must also be present for beauty to exist is that the essence of the beauty "must be pleasing." What sort of pleasure do you mean? You later on claim that evoking emotional pleasure does not make something beautiful. Is it instead, then, an intellectual pleasure? If it is, than complexity would not be the only intellectual pleasure derived from art, and thus complexity could only be considered one of many intellectual factors in making something beautiful.

I therefore ask you not to prove that complexity is a factor in beauty, but that complexity is the only factor that is truly relevant in art, as you seem to assert.

Evan Gunn said...

We call something beautiful, we claim that it has reached its goal. Sensual order goes hand in hand with beauty; all beauty has sensual order. Now how do we separate the beautiful from the not as beautiful? One component must be added: Complexity.

I am not saying that the only things that are beautiful are the things that have vast complexity. I am saying that is how we distinguish good (simple) beauty from great (complex) beauty.

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