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Beauty as it speaks to life: Study in how Platonic Form of Beauty relates to our interaction with beautiful objects

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Title: Beauty as it speaks to life: Study in how Platonic Form of Beauty relates to our interaction with beautiful objects
Author: Yun, Emma
Advisor: Yurdin, Joel; Macbeth, Danielle
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Beauty‘s relation to art and the good life is mostly obscure, though the topic has been much debated in the course of Western Philosophy. In this essay, I hope to revive the relationship between beauty and goodness, as understood in Platonic times. My main argument centers on Plato‘s understanding of beauty, which claims that a beautiful object is a particular body manifesting the Form of Beauty. To understand the nature of beauty, separation between the Form and the body is needed. I explain how this separation is possible when one makes the progression from appreciating the beauty of the body to creating artworks, to contemplating the nature of beauty in a philosophical discourse. For Plato, goodness is a life spent in philosophical discourse. In my paper, I take goodness to mean a life devoted to understanding the nature of our existence. Only by understanding the nature our existence, we can develop empathy and tolerance. These attributes are necessary in order for us to lead a flourishing life, since our existence is not individuated. Because the Form is intricately woven into the particular body that is connected to life, one who appreciates the Form is drawn to exploring more of the body that leads to exploring more about life itself. Therefore, I argue that understanding the nature of beauty ultimately leads us to the world of the particulars where the good and the bad, happiness and sorrow, are interconnected. It is this dichotomy that has led scholars to resist the claim that beauty ultimately converges with goodness. I conclude that understanding the nature of our existence does converge with goodness, even when existence itself is not purely good.
Subject: Plato -- Views on beauty
Subject: Aesthetics -- Philosophy
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6151

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Citation

Yun, Emma. "Beauty as it speaks to life: Study in how Platonic Form of Beauty relates to our interaction with beautiful objects". 2010. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6151.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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