Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Chilled or Focused? The Human Senses


What is it about having your retinas enriched with such beauty that enslaves and paralyzes us with aesthetically pleasing emotions? Why does this occur to us? Is it inevitable or can we control it?

Unfortunately, asking these questions only digs me into a deeper hole, for no where can I find the answers.

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As I was skiing at Lake Louis, I was exposed to many beautiful views of the lake, valley, rivers, and mountains. However, only in a couple of these moments did I stop and truly enjoyed what I witnessed, in-depth. My thought cycled all the way through until the first super continent of our planet, Pangea, and I pondered, how such a mass of rock could have been created and to this day, is still forming.


But why did this process of thought give me such aesthetic pleasure, when in most experiences, one would rather let their mind a loose in enjoyment? Maybe the aesthetic pleasure to witnessing such beauty in nature comes from the idea of its creation, and how complete randomness (Roots of quantum mechanics) managed to create order. Why must we enjoy nature through thought? Why can’t we just feel nature through other senses instead? Well that’s just the answer. aesthetic pleasure from witnessing certain aspects in life comes from the thought process following the experience, or during. Even more so, I find, that whenever using only one sense in gaining aesthetic pleasure, your mind automatically follows with thought, in order to maintain the feelings and emotions behind the enjoyment. For instance, when tasting food, listening to music, smelling perfume, all follow with a thinking process. However, the second you add one or more senses into the picture, your mind goes a stray. Example being, when one watches TV, or when one partakes in an athletic event. This is because your brain must focus significantly more on the activity on hand, instead of just enjoying the moment.

So what’s the difference between aesthetic pleasure from thought and aesthetic pleasure from a focused task? Do we enjoy one more than the other or do they bring equal pleasure? Well, that depends. Most of the time I would prefer to play a sport or a video game, requiring more brain function; however, it brings me great enjoyment. While on the other hand, if I were to read a book, I would enjoy the task almost equally, but it would stimulate a different type of aesthetic pleasure in my brain.

Regardless, aesthetic pleasure is brought to us by our senses and in the matter of conclusion, it still comes down to an opinion. Whether you prefer a more up tempo task, focusing rather than thinking about the roots of the pleasure, or slowly enjoying what’s being witnessed, your senses are what will dictate the level of your pleasure. You control your aesthetics by controlling certain aspects of your senses. For example, your more developed senses will be a greater asset to your enjoyment, while a sense that is not as well-developed will not. For example, a blind man who has no eye sight, will have great auditory senses, and will gain significantly more pleasure from listening.

Im not saying you should blind yourself so you can enjoy music at a greater level! But, enjoy.


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