Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---   What is beautiful?  What are our aesthetic values and standards?  (1)(A) Healthy is beautiful.  A person "glowing" after jogging can be beautiful.  (B) Natural is beautiful.  A person who has not had their face lifted ten times can be beautiful.  (2)(A) Rich is not beautiful.  Being covered in rare jewels is not beautiful.  Blood diamonds are not beautiful.  (B) Artificial is not beautiful.  Being caked in makeup is not beautiful.  ---  4/15/2007

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  .See also: Arts, general.  ---  6/1/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  .This section is about aesthetics.  Topics include: ( ) Aesthetics of new and used.  ( ) Beauty.  ( ) Biology of beauty.  ( ) Ethics and aesthetics.  ( ) Psychology and aesthetics.  ( ) Related subjects.  Psych and soc.  ---  1/24/2006

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  A person's views about aesthetics are shaped by a person's world view.  A person's views world view is shaped by their environment (natural environment, social environment, psychological environment, etc.), and by their own behaviors (thoughts, actions, etc.), and by their needs.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic experience.  Can a person have an aesthetic experience?  No.  People have experiences, of which aesthetics is one dimension, but there is no such thing as experience of aesthetics alone, separate from the rest of the world.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic judgment is a thought process.  Aesthetic judgment is a thought process that also takes into account one's emotional reactions to a work of art.  Thus, aesthetic judgment is an attitude.  ---  7/12/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic knowledge.  (1) Over the course of a life, a person develops a set of ideas about aesthetics.  A person's set of ideas about aesthetics can be simple or complex.  A person's set of ideas about aesthetics can be fuzzy or clear.  A person's set of ideas about aesthetics can be subconscious or conscious.  (2)(A) Some people will argue that aesthetic knowledge should be viewed as a subset of general knowledge.  In this view, aesthetics is not accorded any special position.  People who hold this view, that talking about aesthetics is primarily talking about semiotics and ethics, will tend to argue that there is no special type of aesthetic knowledge.  (B) Other people will argue that aesthetic knowledge is a unique method of knowledge.  People who hold this view, that aesthetics stands on its own, will tend to argue that knowledge of aesthetics is a special type of knowledge.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic knowledge.  A person can communicate a set of ideas about aesthetics to another person, and call it aesthetic education.  One can then argue whether aesthetic education, or art education, should be taught in school.  Many schools have classes in music, visual arts and literature.  There are people trying to devalue art education.  There are people trying to defund art education.  One way people try to defund art education is to launch an attack on aesthetics.  I think art education is important.  (See: Arts, general.)  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic senses of attraction vs. repulsion.  Like vs. dislike.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic systems.  (1) Ideas on all issues in aesthetics of an individual, or of a society.  (2) Change in personal aesthetic system.  (3) Differences in aesthetic systems, explanations of.  (4) Conscious vs. unconscious aesthetic system.  Simple vs. complex aesthetic system.  Healthy vs. unhealthy aesthetic system.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetic value.  Some people argue that there is such a thing as aesthetic value, and that aesthetic value is distinct and separable from ethical value and epistemological value.  (2) Other people argue that there is no such thing as aesthetic value.  Aesthetic value is merely other types of value mis-recognized and mis-named.  (3) Still other people argue that there is such a thing as aesthetic value, but aesthetic values are inextricably linked with ethical values and epistemological values.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics by subject area.  (1) Natural (see also environment). Landscapes, skyscapes, waterscapes.  (2) Manmade.  Tech: designing tools as aesthetically pleasing.  Art: when does something become art.  Junk: when is art junk.  (3) People: aesthetics of.  Psychological: mind, personality, character.  Physical: face, body, behavior: style, action.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics has to do with the relationship of three things: (1) object viewed, (2) environment or context the viewing takes place in, (3) and the viewer.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics is relative to context and viewer.  (1) The same object is viewed differently in different environments or contexts.  (2) The same object is viewed differently by different viewers.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used is really about the aesthetics of rich and poor.  Rich people generally like old things only if they are expensive, authentic and in mint condition.  Poor people are seen as owning old and worn things.  Poor people are also seen as owning faux items (ex. naugahyde is faux leather).  ---  11/20/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  (1) Dirty and worn are two different concepts.  Some things are old and worn yet clean.  Some new things get filthy quickly.  (2) Dirty.  There is a difference between clean dirt like farm soil and festering filth like a toxic dump.  ---  12/30/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  (1) Some people are obsessed with antiques because antiques are valuable, old and in mint condition.  Obsession with antiques can border on psychopathology.  Do not be obsessed with objects.  Do not be obsessed with antique objects.  Be comfortable with ordinary, plain, worn objects.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  (1) Some people are obsessed with owning things that are brand new.  (2) Some people are obsessed with owning things that are in mint condition.  (3) Some people are obsessed with owning things that are immaculately clean.  (4) Obsession with things that are new, mint and clean is a type of psychopathology.  Do not be obsessed with objects.  Do not be obsessed with new, mint and clean objects.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  Four concepts:  Old vs. New.  Faux Old vs. Faux New.  (1) Old.  Old money and walnut paneling and upholstered chairs.  Worn blue jeans and worn bomber jackets.  (2) New.  New money.  Latest and greatest gadgets.  White sneakers.  (3) Faux old.  New restaurants that try to look like the 1800's.  (4) Faux New.  Face lifts, on people and on buildings.  ---  9/18/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  Four concepts.  (1) Old: antiques and classics.  (2) New: avant-garde and trendy.  (3) Faux-old: prewashed jeans.  (4) Faux-new: aluminum siding.  ---  9/18/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  Related concepts.  (1) Old (tested) vs. New (untested).  (2) Clean (mint) vs. Dirty (worn).  (3) Fake (faux) vs. Authentic (genuine).  People who like clean generally like new.  People who like authentic generally do not mind dirty.  ---  9/18/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Aesthetics of new and used.  Some old things are still in new (mint) condition.  Some old things are in used (worn) condition.  New things are generally in mint condition.  ---  9/18/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Appearances vs. substance.  (1) Aesthetics is about appearances.  Appearances count, they have an impact (For example, first impressions are important).  When appearances differ from reality, we consider it a lie and bad.  (2) If you pretty up the city, do crime rates go down?  Because it appears to people that things are going well, and so they don't feel desperate, and so they don't commit crimes.  When things are ugly it appears things are not going well, and times appear desperate, and so crime goes up.  The broken windows theory, which addresses quality of life issues, is really about aesthetics.  This is one way how aesthetics is linked to ethics.  ---  5/15/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Artist and aesthetics.  (1) The uniqueness of an artists perspective (mind and experience).  The uniqueness of an artists aesthetic system.  (2) The quality of artists aesthetic system.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beautiful and pleasing works of art vs. important works of art.  Important works of art challenge our conception of art and the world.  Important works of art advance our conception of art and the world.  Beauty is not that important an aesthetic term.  Aesthetics is not all about beauty.  "Important" is the important term in aesthetics.  It is more important for a work of art to be "important' than to be "beautiful".  ---  5/8/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty as a relative and arbitrary term.  (1) Beauty and ugliness as completely relative terms which vary from person to person, and from culture to culture.  (2) Much of beauty is arbitrary.  Ex. arbitrary cultural color codes.  Why should one color symbolize one thing in one culture and another thing in another culture?  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty is a term that, by natural association, (1) We think that whatever possesses beauty also is ethically good (ethics), (2) And we love it (psychology, emotion), (3) And we are biologically, genetically, unconsciously driven towards it (psychology, drive).  ---  12/15/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty is not that important a philosophical concept.  What we think is good-looking (or good tasting, or smelling, or feeling, or sounding) is not as big an issue as how much information we get out of it, how true the information is, and how ethical the views of the information are.  ---  8/2/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) Beauty as a drive: (I want x).  (2) Beauty as an emotion: (I like x vs. I dislike x.  X pleasures me or displeases me).  (3) Beauty as an intellectual response (I think x ideals are good, right, and true).  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) Beauty of natural things.  For example, flowers, sunsets, etc.  We usually call natural things beautiful when we consider them to be healthy.  (2) Beauty of man-made, non-art objects.  We call these things beautiful when they serve their purpose.  (3) Beauty of man-made art objects.  (A) We look for the artwork to elicit a useful emotional response.  Not necessarily a pleasant emotional response.  For example, Picasso's Guernica causes us to feel revulsion toward war (not revulsion toward the artwork or the artist).  (B) We look for the artwork to communicate.  We want it to enlighten, teach and educate.  We also want it to entertain.  We want it to expand our mind.  (4) Beauty of people's appearance.  We deem other people beautiful (or ugly) when we judge them, by appearance, to be fit (or unfit) to reproduce with.  This is a biologically evolved instinct.  ---  5/8/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) Is beauty a purely sensual concept?  Example: Visual for paintings, and aural for music?  However, words are not sensual data, and yet a poem can be beautiful.  So beauty must be more than just pure sense.  (2) Is beauty a purely artistic concept?  Can a math proof be beautiful, or only artworks?  ---  06/01/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) Subjective opinions of beauty  vs. objective beauty.  (2) Physical beauty vs. beauty of mind.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) Various definitions of beauty, and my definition.  (2) Some criterion for beauty: balance, symmetry, refinement, power, truth.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  (1) What is beautiful and not, and why?  (2) What is ugly and not, and why?  Ugly as untrue.  Ugly as evil.  Ugly as unrefined.  Ugly as unaccustomed, strange or weird.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Art can be great without being physically beautiful.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Beauty is a confusing and over-used term in aesthetic discussion.  The question is not, "Is it beautiful?".  The question is, "How does it make you feel, and what does it make you think of?"  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Biology of beauty.  (1) Humans have evolved so that they find certain facial characteristics attractive, or so psychologists tell us.  A similar phenomenon may have evolved with bodies.  And these traits may be abstracted by us and applied to non-human objects.  Why would symmetrical and proportional buildings appeal to us, if not for the fact that we like our mates symmetrical and proportional, with two arms, two legs, two eyes, and no missing or misshapen parts.  (2)(A) So we are genetically engineered to fear and avoid mutants.  So what?  This is not philosophically important.  Beauty is not a big deal.  (B) On top of our genetic pre-dispositions we have tastes which we have learned throughout our lives.  So what?  (C) The only significance of beauty is that spending time around ugliness may depress us psychologically.  ---  8/2/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Biology of beauty.  Beauty is a survival instinct that evolved over millions of years.  Beauty is a shortcut for survival.  We say to ourselves unconsciously, "This will help me.  This is good.  I like this."  We come to these conclusions without thinking consciously.  We recognize beauty without thinking.  The only conscious thought that arises is "She is beautiful".  ---  4/24/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Biology of beauty.  In humans the "beauty instinct" evolved over millions of years in relation to determining which members of the opposite sex are most suitable to reproduce with.  Thus, the concept of beauty is inextricably linked with sex.  And even when we generalize to non-human objects and call them beautiful, there still is an element of sexuality involved.  Beautiful = sexy.  Period.  Animals have a sense of beauty too; i.e., in choosing which animals they will mate with.  ---  5/8/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Definitions of beauty.  (1) Beauty as health.  Our genetic heritage.  Physical appearance of people.  And also beauty of mind as psychological health.  (2) Beauty as truth.  (3) Beauty as good.  ---  1/1/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Ethics and beauty.  "Beautiful yet evil".  Some people are beautiful yet ethically bad.  Some artworks are beautiful yet ethically bad.  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Ethics and beauty.  The conflation of the terms "beautiful" and "good" produces a confusion that results in the mistaken view that all beautiful people are good and all ugly people are evil.  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Ethics and beauty.  The mistake of conflating the beautiful and the good.  (1) People.  Not all beautiful people are good people; many beautiful people are evil people.  Not all ugly people are bad people; many ugly people are good people.  (2) Art works.  Not all beautiful works of art are good works of art; for example, the evil messages of slickly produced hate art.  Not all ugly works of art are bad works of art; for example addressing the ugly subject matters of war and crime in a problem solving way.  ---  7/14/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Five views of the aesthetic response, from a psychological perspective.  (1) Beauty is primarily a sense response.  (2) Beauty is primarily an instinctual or drive-related response.  (3) Beauty is primarily an emotional response.  (4) Beauty is primarily a thought response.  (5) Beauty is primarily an attitude (thought + emotion) response.  ---  6/8/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, than anything can be beautiful.  When looks are arbitrary, and make absolutely no utilitarian difference, then anything can and does go.  ---  11/01/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  If you want to elucidate the concept of beauty, elucidate the concept of the ugly.  Can anything be ugly?  What do we mean when we say ugly?  (1) Sometimes we say ugly when we mean unethical, and we say beautiful when we mean ethical.  For example, we say murder is an ugly crime.  (2) Sometimes we say ugly when we mean having a negative impact on one's psychological frame of mind.  For example, an ugly subway stairwell.  In this case we say ugly as meaning unhealthy.  (3) What is ugly to one, may not be ugly to another.  As in women.  (4) A work of art that draws attention to the problems of society may appear to have an ugly subject matter.  But that does not make it an ugly work of art.  It does not make it a bad work of art either.  (5) We thus get into the question of a good and bad work of art, as opposed to a beautiful or ugly work of art, the two being not the same.  ---  11/16/1997

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Modern American society is obsessed with beauty.  Beauty is over-rated in our society.  ---  5/8/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Modern conceptions of beauty.  (1) Models: Cheryl Tiegs.  Carol Alt.  Cindy Crawford.  Paulina Porizkova.  Tyra Banks.  Kate Moss.  Christy Turlington.  (2) Movies: Audrey Hepburn.  Sophia Loren.  Marilyn Monroe.  Raquel Welch.  ---  4/24/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Physical beauty is appreciated because it is a form of perfection.  ---  08/06/1988

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Senses and beauty.  (1) Vision: We often say that things we see are beautiful.  (2) Sound: We sometimes use the word beauty to describe music and sounds.  (3) Taste and smell: We do not often use the word beauty to describe tastes and smells.  Instead we use the word "delicious, fragrant", etc.  (4) Touch: We do not often use the word beauty to describe the objects we touch.  (5) So beauty seems to refer primarily to things we see and hear, rather than things we smell, taste and touch.  Beauty does not apply to all the senses equally.  Beauty is biased toward certain senses.  (See also Psychology, senses).  ---  1/9/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  The limits of beauty.     (1) Anyone can say that this or that thing is more or less beautiful than the next.  Yet consider a supermodel: can she be any more beautiful?  There seems to be a limit to beauty.  Some things cannot be any more beautiful.  We call these things aesthetically perfect or flawless.     (2) The next question is what does aesthetic perfection accomplish?  Perfect beauty does not accomplish much in and of itself.  The real value of aesthetic perfection is to allude to the concept of perfection in general (See also Psychology, pathological, perfectionism.  See also Philosophy, ethics, ideal).  Perfect beauty is as allusive (hinting at perfection in general) as it is elusive (difficult to find).  Yet in today's world of mass-production, quality assurance and plastic surgery, perfect beauty is a much more frequent occurrence and so perhaps becomes less significant for being less rare.     (3) A deflationary view of beauty:  Perfect physical beauty, and beauty in general, is on the same level as gastronomy.  That is to say, beauty in and of itself is like a plate of food that smells good and tastes good.  There is not much more to it than that.  ---  1/6/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Three definitions of beauty.  (1) Beauty as technical skill.  (2) Beauty as cleverness or originality.  (3) Beauty as approaching our image of an "ideal x."  Example, a beautiful animal or plant.  ---  5/8/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Three objections to beauty.  (1) To revere human physical beauty is to discriminate against the so called "ugly".  (2) To revere human physical beauty is to be shallow, ignoring the deeper values of the human mind.  (3) Human physical beauty is due mostly to luck and therefore should not be revered as much as values achieved through effort.  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Three views.  (1) Nothing has beauty (or ugliness).  (2) Everything is ugly by degree.  Perfect complete beauty does not exist.  (3) All things have beauty by degree.  Perfect complete ugliness does not exist.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Today, plastic surgery and mass production make beauty and physical perfection commonplace.  In the past, beauty and perfection were less common (more rare) which is perhaps why people ascribed more value to them.  ---  9/17/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Types of beauty.  Cute, pretty (female) vs. majestic (male).  Trivial vs. noble.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  What is beautiful?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder vs. classic beauty spans time and place.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Beauty.  Youth and beauty.  Sex and beauty.  Health and beauty.  All three are tied together.  Young, healthy, sexy people are generally viewed as beautiful.  ---  5/15/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Can aesthetics be separated from psychology and ethics?  No.  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Classic: important truths, condensed, high quality.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Communication and aesthetics.  The aesthetic term "representation" and the philosophy of language terms "meaning" and "reference" are very similar.  ---  8/30/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Communication and aesthetics.  We are talking about representation and understanding.  You can apply semiotics and literary criticism theory to the visual arts.  ---  07/30/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Curiosity of the new, and attraction to the new.  The new can cause attraction (curiosity) or fear, awe, wonder, mysteriousness.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Development of an individual's (and a society's, and mankind's) ideas about aesthetics.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Ecological sustainability is beautiful, appealing and attractive.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Epistemology and aesthetics.  Sometimes we say "I think this work of art is true, or honest."  So aesthetics has an epistemological dimension to it.  Good art communicates the truth of life and the human experience.  Bad art is sham and bogus.  ---  01/01/1994

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Ethics and aesthetics.  Aesthetics depends on values which depends on perceived and actual needs.  Pure aesthetic experience (devoid of ethics) does not exist.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Ethics and aesthetics.  Beautiful as good.  Ugly as bad.  This view discriminates against ugly people.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Ethics and aesthetics.  Beautiful as promoting health, survival, catharsis.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Ethics and aesthetics.  Beauty is a function of values, a function of ethics.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Everything aesthetic.  (1) Everything we sense has an aesthetic quality, whether we like it or not, and the aesthetic quality affects us, whether we know it or not.  Each thing says something different aesthetically, and each of us interprets what each thing is saying slightly differently.  Usually there is some consensus of agreement about what something says.  Therefore, giving thought to aesthetics is not a waste of time.  (2) Things like architectural aesthetics are important.  Form is as important as function.  Form is important, and function is important too.  In any situation, one can be more important that the other.  ---  06/18/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Everything aesthetic.  The aesthetic nature of everything.  Everything has an aesthetic dimension, of three levels:  (1) Pure sense/emotion.  (2) Ideas associated with an actual physical thing.  (3) Pure idea itself.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Everything we do has artistic aspects, and everything is a work of art.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Fads, crazes, phases, and fashions.  ---  6/30/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Me.  Paul aesthetic system as exemplified by the works of Conrad, Melville, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Beats.  Surfing: speed power danger.  Climbing: risk.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Me.  Paul aesthetic system: soul power.  Soul: hip/cool; deep in thought, knowledge; feeling, sensitivity, perceptiveness; meaning; profundity.  Power: impact, force, strength.  ---  09/01/1994

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Me.  Paul aesthetic system.  Emotionally expressive, concise, aphoristic, powerful, truthful, philosophical, psychological, anger, danger, humorous (sarcastic, cynical), skeptical, non-conformist, natural, wild.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Me.  Paul aesthetics system.  (1) Development of my aesthetic system vs. my current aesthetic system, and reasons for both.  (2) For what subjects.  (3) What I think is cool, hip, fine.  In general, and for specific arts.  (4) What I like and not and examples of it in specific works.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Originality vs. quality.  Much that is original is often not of high quality.  Much that is of high quality is often not original.  ---  6/30/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  PART ONE.  Gender and aesthetics.  (1) Female aesthetics.  (A) Views of women regarding what constitutes a good looking man.  (B) Views of women regarding what constitutes a good looking woman.  (2) Male aesthetics.  (A) Views of men regarding what constitutes a good looking woman.  (B) Views of men regarding what constitutes a good looking man.  PART TWO.  What about heterosexual versus homosexual aesthetics?  PART THREE.  Do the above aesthetic views about humans affect aesthetic views about nonhuman objects?  For example, would a woman appreciate a building that has "broad shoulders"?  Would a man appreciate a building with "round hips"?  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  People have generalized attractions to new/old, similar/different, strange/familiar.  They generally like one and dislike the other.  It depends on if they are bored or scared.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Philosophy of art is a rich area.  But aesthetics is meager.  There is only so much you can say about beauty.  It is a thin book.  So, ironically, it turns out to be true that "beauty is only skin deep".  ---  8/28/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Popular mass acclaim vs. critical acclaim.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Power, impact.  Affect of an environment or artwork on viewer.  Aesthetic power (emotional impact and intellectual impact) of an artwork.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Aesthetics and emotion, personality type, and taste.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Aesthetics and sense involved: to see, hear, smell, taste, feel/touch.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Calming and soothing aesthetics.  vs.  Stimulating and exciting aesthetics.  In music, visual arts, literature, movies.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Emotion and aesthetics.  Aesthetics of negative emotions of anger, sadness and fear.  Aesthetics of positive emotions of joy, happiness.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Psychology, emotion.  All perceived things evoke emotional responses (landscapes, buildings, pictures of same, clothes, everything) of different types and degrees in different individuals and cultures.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  The degree to which you can talk about a work of art is the degree that art becomes less a matter of drive and emotion, and more a matter of thought and attitude.  ---  6/8/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Thought and aesthetics.  How much thought goes into your notion of beauty?  A lot or a little?  Some people say notions of beauty shortcut or bypass thinking.  Other people have many thoughts on what they consider to be beautiful or not.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Thought and aesthetics.  Notions of beauty are emotional and evolved in humans before the ability to think evolved in humans.  However, having evolved the ability to think, humans are unable to consider beauty without a thought component being attached to the emotional component.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  Thought and aesthetics.  Since emotion and thought cannot be separated, aesthetics always has a thought component, even if we focus on the emotional aspects of a work of art.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Psychology and aesthetics.  What is your favorite color, and why?  How is color preference a reflection of personality type?  Aesthetic preferences and personality type.  Aesthetic preferences as fulfilling unconscious psychological needs, not as reflecting conscious moral decisions.  ---  01/01/1994

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Related subjects.  (1) Aesthetics and psychology: (A) the sensory intake, (B) the emotional reaction, (C) the memory triggers.  (2) Aesthetics and communication.  The artist as trying to say something.  Interpretation and translation of work the of art.  (3) Aesthetics and ethics.  Is this a good work of art?  The beautiful as the good and the true.  ---  01/01/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Relativity (aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder) vs. consensus through time and space (of experts who have seen a lot of art).  ---  6/30/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Representation of ideas or reality, in words, pictures, or sound.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sex, gender and aesthetics.  Male aesthetics: big, strong, awesome, natural.  Female aesthetics: small, pretty, artificial and decorative (makeup, jewelry, perfume, hairdo).  ---  01/01/1994

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sex, gender and aesthetics.  Trying to stereotype a male aesthetics and a female aesthetic is a mistake.  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  So you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch something, and then you ask yourself, "What does that make me think of?  What does that make me feel?"  And then you discuss it with friends.  That's art.  ---  7/16/2006

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sociology and aesthetics.  (1) To some extent, a person's aesthetic likes and dislikes are socially conditioned.  (2) Societies are often bigoted, intolerant and xenophobic in their aesthetic values.  (3) People must identify and improve society's ignorant and false values.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sociology and aesthetics.  Aesthetics and culture.  Western aesthetics.  Eastern aesthetics.  ---  01/01/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sociology and aesthetics.  To say that aesthetics is about communication is to say aesthetics is a social phenomenon.  This view of aesthetics is challenged by the aesthetics of natural objects.  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sociology and aesthetics.  What a society values will determine what it thinks is beautiful.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Sometimes people say that a particular house has "character" or "personality".  This is an example of personification.  Personification is the attribution of human characteristics to non-human things.  Personification is a kind of metaphorical thinking.  The point is that a lot of aesthetics is the result of personification.  Humans have a tendency to personify inanimate objects, and then make aesthetic judgments based on personification.  ---  4/4/2007

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Standards of beauty are often arbitrary and frivolous.  The beauty industry fleeces people of money by coercing people to conform to arbitrary beauty standards.  ---  4/15/2007

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Taste.  (A) Taste as when it does not matter which you choose.  (B) Taste as when you have no reason for that which you choose.  ---  6/30/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  The aesthetic response is more than merely deeming things beautiful or not.  ---  6/8/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  The bourgeoisie aesthetic: neat, clean, pretty, new, orderly, perfect, conforming to the trend, coloring within the lines.  ---  2/10/2001

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  The ineffable.  (1) In one way the ineffable is related to psychological theories of the unconscious.  The ineffable is that which resides in the unconscious, and which we do not have access to.  (2) In another way anything that you have not developed the concepts to think about remains ineffable to you until you do.  ---  8/3/1998

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  The questions are.  (1) Is this beautiful (pretty, pleasing, pleasurable, powerful)?  (2) What does this say?  What does it mean?  To everyone, to anyone, and to me?  Is it making a metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic statement?  (3) What does this artwork implicitly value?  The connection of aesthetics to ethics.  ---  07/12/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  The terms "beautiful" and "ugly" can be replaced with the terms "like" and "dislike".  A person can simply say that they like one painting and dislike another painting.  The terms "like" and "dislike" serve the same purpose as the terms "beautiful" and "ugly".  ---  10/25/2004

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Things you love right off the bat vs. learned, acquired, developed likes/dislikes and tastes.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Three views of aesthetics.  (1) A psychological view of aesthetics would claim that a person's aesthetic likes and dislikes are a result of psychological factors.  (2) A sociological view of aesthetics would claim that our aesthetic likes and dislikes are socially conditioned.  (3) A biological view of aesthetics would claim that aesthetics as universal, hard wired, innate responses.  To what extent are aesthetic responses universal and innate?  Are there no exceptions nor variations?  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Types.  Manmade vs. natural aesthetic experiences.  ---  01/01/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Uninformed aesthetic reactions vs. informed aesthetic reactions.  (1) Your aesthetic reaction to a painting, before and after someone explains to you why it is a great painting.  (2) Your aesthetic reaction to a painting, before and after you have knowledge of the history of art.  ---  3/11/1999

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  (1) Aesthetics is about more than beauty.  (2) Aesthetics is about more than art.  Art is a man made object.  Aesthetics also considers natural objects like landscapes.  (3) Aesthetics is about more than sensory experience.  (4) Aesthetics is about more than emotion.  (5) Aesthetics would thus appear to be about quite a lot.  It would seem so.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  (1) Aesthetics is not merely about beauty.  There are many aesthetic concepts besides beauty.  (2) Aesthetics is not merely about art.  Art is man made.  Aesthetics is also about natural things.  Everything has an aesthetic dimension.   All humans react to the aesthetic dimension of all things.  (3) Aesthetics cannot be separated from ethics or semiotics.  Aesthetics does not stand alone.  Everything is connected.  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  (1) If you are going to say that everything has an aesthetic dimension because everything elicits emotion in the viewer, then why not say that you are a psychologist who studies emotion.  (2) If you are going to say that aesthetics is primarily about the concepts of communication, representation and meaning, then why not say you are interested semiotics, not aesthetics?  (3) To claim that there is a distinct field of inquiry named "aesthetics", that deals with things like "aesthetic experience" and "aesthetic judgment" is too strong a claim to be justified.  (4) Is there anything left to aesthetics after one strips away the semiotics and the ethics?  ---  11/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  (1) Some people use the word "aesthetic" to mean only a positive aesthetic response.  (2) A better use of the word aesthetic includes positive and negative aesthetic responses.  In this way the word "aesthetic" is like the word "value"  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  Aesthetics as simply things that flip our switches, and things which, for whatever reason, turn us on or turn us off, or do neither (don't affect us).  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  Aesthetics does not deserve to be with metaphysics (nature), epistemology (mind), and ethics (action).  ---  01/10/1994

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  Definitions of aesthetics.  (1) Psychological, emotional reaction to the senses.  (2) Communication.  Interpretation (social science).  Someone trying to say something.  (3) Ethics (is this good x?).  (4) Manmade as opposed to natural experiences.  ---  09/15/1993

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is aesthetics?  Three views.  (1) Aesthetics is arbitrary and random.  Versus.  (2)(A) Aesthetics is personal, individual, psychological.  Versus.  (B) Aesthetics is cultural, social.  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What is beautiful?  (1) Ecological sustainability and social justice are beautiful.  Progressive values are beautiful.  (2) Pollution is ugly, as well as being unjust.  Political oppression is ugly, as well as being unjust.  Economic exploitation is ugly, as well as being unjust.  One could argue that all emotional reactions have an aesthetic component.  One could argue further that all human thought has an emotional component and an aesthetic component.  (3) The human mind consistently associates beauty with truth and goodness, perhaps due to human evolutionary development.  The human mind associates aesthetics with logic, epistemology, and ethics.  Aesthetics does not stand alone.  Aesthetics is connected to the rest of the world.  ---  6/11/2007

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  What.  Humans have an aesthetic response to everything they encounter.  ---  6/12/2005

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  When we say "I see the beauty in x", don't we often mean, "I see the good in x" (ethics) or "I am in such a good mood that x seems beautiful to me" (emotion)?  Thus aesthetic sense is often based on mood.  Ethics is often based on mood as well.  This is why optimism/pessimism is important.  Emotion, aesthetics, and ethics are all mixed up.  It is tough to tell where one stops and the next begins.  ---  02/15/1997

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Whether you think something is beautiful depends on  (1) How you perceive it (what you think it is).  (2) What your attitude towards that thing is.  (3) What you unconsciously and consciously think that thing means, symbolizes, or stands for.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, aesthetics.  ---  Your mind-set prior to viewing affects how you see something.  Your mind set affects what you think it is or stands for, and whether you think it is good or bad.  Thus you can see same thing differently on different viewings.  ---  12/30/1992

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.