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Aesthetics (or esthetics) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the definition of beauty . The wordaesthetics was first used by German philosopher AlexanderGottlieb Baumgarten , who helped to establish the study of aesthetics as a separate philosophical field of study.

The word aesthetic can be used as a noun meaning "that which appeals to the senses." Someone's aesthetic has a lot todo with their artistic judgement. For example, an individual who wears flowered clothing, drives a flowered car, and paints theirhome with flowers has a particular aesthetic.

Some of the meaning of aesthetic as an adjective can be illuminated by comparing it to anaesthetic , which is by construction an antonym ofaesthetic. If something is anaesthetic, it tends to dull the senses or cause sleepiness. In contrast, aesthetic may be thought ofas anything that tends to enliven or invigorate or wake one up.


The philosophy of aesthetics

This study of aesthetics is well-developed in theology , e.g. "water, greenery,and a beautiful face" were identified by Muhammad , founder and Prophet of Islam , as the key things that any person could differentiate from the background.

It is particularly important to the study of the individual's moral core ,which is formed by epigenetics and example s through his or her lifetime, but has a common human foundationexplored in cognitive science , anthropology and primatology .

Since actions or behavior can be said to have beauty beyond sensory appeal,aesthetics and ethics often overlap to the degree that this impression is embodied in a moral code or ethical code . Schopenhauer's aesthetics is one developed variation onthis theme; Schopenhauer contrasted the contemplation of beauty against the evil world ofthe Will .

The theory of surrealist automatism is extra-aestheticin that it is supposed to be practiced without (conscious) moral or aesthetic self-censorship.

The writer Ayn Rand assumed a hierarchical nature of philosophy that builds in complexity & dependence from metaphysics through epistemology , ethics & politics to aesthetics ("Philosophy,Who Needs It?", 1974).

Aesthetic arguments usually proceed from one of several possible perspectives, i.e.: art is defined by the intention of theartist (as Dewey ); art is in the response/emotion of the viewer (as Tolstoy ); art is a character of the item itself; art is a function of an object's context (as Danto ); or art is imitation (as Plato ).

The elements that contribute to the aesthetic appeal of an object depend upon the medium under design; some elements arelisted below.

Aesthetics in art

Of course art appreciation is in the eyes of the beholder, although there are certain elements that we can defineacross a group of paintings that can be generalized or delineated, and hence discussed and analyzed on their own merits.

Generally, art adheres to the aesthetic principles of symmetry / asymmetry , focal point, pattern , contrast, perspective , 3D dimensionality , movement, rhythm , unity/ Gestalt , and proportion .

You can't take a sample of artwork, lay it down, critique it across aesthetic dimensions, and reach some kind of quantitativejudgement as to its quality. Great paintings touch our souls; they may violate some guidelines or lend different weights tovarious aesthetic principles (sometimes a piece of art veers violently from an aesthetic principle specifically for effect). Yetthe principle of aesthetics gives us a basis for discussion.

Aesthetics in music

Music has the ability to affect our emotions , intellect , and our psychology ; lyrics can assuage our loneliness or incite our passions. As such music is a powerful art form, and its aestheticappeal is highly independent upon the culture where it is practiced.

Some of the aesthetic elements expressed in music include lyricism , harmony , hypnotism , emotiveness , temporal dynamics, resonance , playfulness, andcolour.

Aesthetics in architecture

Applying aesthetics to buildings and related architectural structures is complex, as factors extrinsic to visual design (suchas structural integrity, cost, the nature of building materials, and the functional utility of the building) contribute heavilyto the design process.

Notwithstanding, architectural designers can still apply the aesthetic principles of ornamentation , edge deliniation, texture, flow, solemnity, symmetry, color, granularity, the interaction ofsunlight and shadows, transcendence , and harmony.

Aesthetics in the performing arts

Performing artists appeal to our aesthetics of storytelling , grace , balance, class, timing, strength, shock, humor , costume , irony, beauty , and sensuality .

Aesthetics in literature

Encompassing poetry, short stories, novels, and non-fiction, authors use a variety of techniques to appeal to our aestheticvalues. Depending on the type of writing an author may employ rhythm, illustrations, structure, time shifting, juxtaposition, dualism , imagery , fantasy , suspense , analysis, humor /cynicism, and thinking aloud.

Aesthetics in landscape design

Landscape designers use natural and artificial materials scaling from the size of a person to the expanse of a golf course.They may employ water (in pools, streams, or fountains ), color, plants , reflection, seasonal variance, stonework , fragrance , variance of viewing expansiveness (depth of field?), exterior lighting , repetition, statues , and lawns as aesthetic elements.

Culinary aesthetics

Although food is a basic and frequently experienced commodity, careful attention to the aesthetic possibilities of foodstuffscan turn eating into dining. Chefs inspire our gastronomy with regionalism, spices ,diversity/contrast, anticipation, seduction, and decoration/ garnishes .

External links

See also: morality , ethics , aestheticism

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