What Is Beauty?
Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feeling of aesthetic value, beauty or loveliness of objects that makes such objects enjoyable to see. These objects could be natural objects like sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and beautiful works of art. Beauty, along with taste and art, is perhaps the most significant topic of aesthetics, among the various branches of natural philosophy. According to Charles Darwin’s view, “On the whole, I feel that all the appearances of nature are more beautiful than their real accomplishments, for, in the long run, what matters is not the appearance, but the actual functioning.” This statement fully supports Darwin’s concept that beauty in all its forms is subject to a definite psychological principle.
Charles Darwin, like most of his contemporaries, viewed human beings as the most beautiful of all creatures. He held that we are born with the capacity to appreciate beauty in its true sense and that this appreciation leads to a constant enlargement of our aesthetic experience. According to his ideas, the instinctive drive to survival motivated Darwin to study the natural phenomena around him in an effort to explain them. For example, he noticed how birds choose certain trees and bushes to nest and rest on and how fish avoid others. By studying the natural phenomena around him, Darwin came up with his famous Theory of Selection.
The theory can be divided into two different theories; one ideal and the other scientific. According to the ideal theory, beauty is a subjective experience, which depends on the beholder, while the scientific theory asserts that beauty exists objectively and independently of the beholder. In essence, each theory defines beauty in different ways, which leads to different interpretations and definitions of beauty. Beauty is an extremely personal experience, as it depends on the individual’s perception and evaluation of beauty.