Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Aesthetic Experiences

Q1) Does beauty signify superiority?

Q2) Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?


E1) As I was walking around downtown Vancouver, I was feeling slightly out of body. I figured it may have been the amount of people crowding the sidewalks, or the rush that everyone seemed to be in. Maybe the constant buzzing of people or vehicles whizzing past, or the bright lights surrounding every commercial building I walked past. Walking through the streets, filled with giant skyscrapers and tall office buildings, I felt enclosed, maybe somewhat protected. I felt a sense of solidarity being there. I think this can relate back to Plato’s cave as in the reading, he explained his sense of home while in the cave. Although I had slightly mixed feelings at first about the atmosphere I was among, I realized the sense of solidarity that I felt.

E2) “How are you going to get to where you want to be?” I read this quote on a clear glass wall surrounding the entrance to the sky train. I did find it slightly metaphorical as the question being asked was at an ironic time of hopping onto a form of transportation. The quote itself didn’t really answer my questions, but it did draw me into another perspective, thus allowing me to further my outlook.

This is basically illegible, sorry about that.


E3) I discovered two things over my time to think about these questions. I realized there’s no way to tell if beauty has a ‘code’. To me, something like the colour pink is beautiful. To you, it’s not. Beauty is subjective, and we as a society should stop trying to uphold unrealistic beauty standards among us. They’re often unreachable, as well as completely subjective. As I thought about my questions above, I came to the conclusion that I already knew the answer to my first question.


I’m attempting to answer the question, ‘What are aesthetics for?’, and I think I’ve come to an answer. But, my answer, and your answer, will differ. Just as beauty is subjective, so is personal belief. As for mine, I believe that aesthetics are for pleasure. They help guide our happiness and joys, our perception of those things at least, and they shape our characteristics as humans. An aesthetic is defined as something visually appealing, and something that brings you happiness. Everyone’s personal aesthetic will be different, and I think that’s the biggest indicator that beauty is completely subjective.


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