On the Concept of Form in the Theory of Beauty

Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 16:00-18:00

Online session


Defining beauty has been a central philosophical preoccupation for millennia. Although beauty remains something of a mystery, we can fruitfully continue pursuing a complete theory of beauty by furnishing it through small additions. Here, I seek to contribute towards such a theory by offering a necessary condition for beauty along with an elaboration of that condition. Taking my cue from the longest standing theory of beauty to date, which identified beauty with form, and properties like order, harmony, and proportion, I argue for two claims. First, form should be understood as comprising three conceptions, which vary in their implications for beauty and our appreciative practices vis-à-vis different kinds of objects. Second, form, understood thus, is a necessary condition for beauty.