Beauty is often described as a subjective feature of certain objects which makes these objects enjoyable to perceive. Such objects may include sunsets, landscapes, humans and other artistic works of art. Beauty, along with individual beauty and aesthetic sense, is probably the most important theme of aesthetics, among the most important branches of modern art. In fact, there is much debate on whether beauty is a subjective or objective concept. Aesthetic theory suggests that beauty is a very specific kind of mental image that cannot be objectively measured by means of a scientific criterion.
According to this view, beauty exists independent of the biological makeup of an object, independently of a person’s desires, and independent of a person’s ability to judge another’s attractiveness through her appearance. According to this view, a brain that is designed for optimal reproductive success can be programmed to respond to and desire certain forms of attractive material and visual cues. The result is that one can use a plastic surgeon’s knives to cut out parts of the body that are aesthetically displeasing to the human brain, thus causing the brain to substitute those parts with other parts that are functionally related to survival.
One of the most widely-accepted theories on the basis of neurobiological and cognitive neuroscience is that there are two separate and distinct types of “rated” mental states. These two types of states are known as “cognition” and “intuition” in the academic literature. One type of mental state is the conscious self, and the other type of state is the unconscious or sub-conscious. According to this theory, the judgments of beauty which arise from the conscious self do not directly regulate the activity of brain regions that control behavior; however, the representations of beauty that arise from the subconscious or sub-conscious nonetheless modulate brain function in a fashion that effectively allows the conscious mind to make judgments about beauty.