Beauty is commonly defined as the aesthetic quality of certain objects, which makes those objects enjoyable to see. These objects may include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and artistic works of art. Beauty, along with beauty and art, is perhaps the most important theme of aesthetics, another of the several major branches of humanities philosophy. Theoria (theoria means ‘all-embracing’) is the most famous word in the definition of beauty, the word ‘beauty’ is also used in the Aesthetic Corpus. In aesthetic language, beauty is generally taken to be a subjective quality, meaning that it is formed only by the observer and it can therefore be regarded as indeterminate.
Theoria describes beauty as a subjective, essential characteristic of a particular object, idea or person. In terms of aesthetics, beauty is not judged as an essential characteristic of any particular object, idea or person but rather beauty is found through the observer’s subjective judgment. For example, beauty is not found in nature; beauty exists only in the mind. The quality of beauty differs for every person; beauty varies according to culture, nationality, race, color and class and cannot be quantified.
According to the philosophers, beauty consists in the universal and internal harmony of parts, in the proportion and arrangement of parts in the object or the person. Beauty includes a mental qualification of a work of art – the work of art must meet the highest aesthetic expectations of its own creator. Beauty lies in the subjective experience of the beholder. The criterion of beauty varies from culture, country, ethnicity, race, sex and nation to a large extent.
In general, beauty includes a perfection of form, which according to the philosophers is not purely subjective, but rather objective. Beauty exists independent of personal feelings and inclinations. Beauty is therefore subject to culture, race and country, just as color is also subject to such culture, country and ethnicity. Therefore, beauty and its concepts may differ significantly from beholder to beholder.
According to the majority of psychologists, beauty lies in the qualities of the eye and the mind of the beholder, not in the material object or in the composition of that object. Beauty is subjective, so it differs from beauty perceived by others. Beauty therefore is a matter of attitude and not of brainpower. According to the philosophers, beauty is aesthetic in nature, which can be learned, like language, in the form of culture and attitude of the people who see or perceive beauty.
According to some philosophers, sight is the best teacher. Thus, beauty is a matter of how we see the world, and not of how we see the objects of our sight. A beautiful appearance is not the result of some effort on the part of the creator or the beauty is not the outcome of some aesthetic bargain between the designer and the consumer. For the philosophers, beauty exists independent of the human mind, which is rational but not subjective. Beauty is therefore not determined by personal tastes, but rather the result of the culture of the people who see or feel beauty. In short, a beautiful appearance is not the end result of beauty, and beauty is not determined by the ability to understand the aesthetic concepts expressed by the beholder, but rather the result of the culture of the viewers.