Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

By

kirsten- my eternal infatuation with lights

 

an old philosophy on aesthetics comes from Plato, where he claims that art is a cheap imitation of reality. his theory suggests that even reality is a less valuable version of the “world of the forms” making art twice removed from perfection. he states that what is perfect is morally good and beautiful.

I can agree with the theory that art is inspired by life, which produces flaws that differentiate between life and allow room for personal deviation. i don’t agree with the conception that flaws make something less beautiful or not enjoyable. i believe that something (art, an experience or otherwise) is beautiful in its whole, including the flaws or displeasure that come with it. by experiencing enjoyment and fully appreciating something in its entirety, this makes it beautiful or pleasurable. this way of thought aligns more with the idea that we give meaning to art.

art or beauty means something different to each of us, and to neglect that would be simplifying one of the most intriguing parts of aesthetics. the idea that art is not universal. this directly conflicts with Hume’s philosophies on aesthetics, where he argues that there is a standard set for art. this requires only some opinions on art to be considered, and having a different opinion on something good or bad is simply wrong. by using this theory, we completely miss the idea that just because something is communally accepted to be beautiful, doesn’t make it pleasurable itself, only to those who find it so.

through this unit i have been able to develop my own ideas on aesthetics by learning from other philosophers and class discussion. i subscribe to the idea that aesthetics is the overall conscious submersion in where you are and what you are doing. it is about being present, without over analyzing, nor separating yourself so far that you are no longer in the moment. this moment may contain it’s problems, or struggles that are needed to appreciate it. the experience may even be overall negative, but by being completely enthralled in the situation, it becomes an aesthetic experience that teaches us something about how we see beauty or pain.

examples:

this past break i spent a fair amount of my time outside. in these outings i was able to submerse myself in the moment i was living and was a part of many aesthetic experiences.

the first experience i had occurred on a spur of the moment drive out to Lafarage lake, which was decorated with Christmas lights along the walk way around the circumference of the lake. there was one section of the lake that had hanging stars that twinkled in white light. this was my favorite and most pleasurable part of the walk. i began to afterwards consider how humans had created these lights specifically to mimic the beauty of our stars. although one could literally put a price on these artificial stars, i found myself contemplating if that meant they were less beautiful than the stars in the sky. although i personally believe seeing the milky way from isolated locations of darkness is one of the most breathtaking views, i don’t believe that the two are comparable as the situations are completely different. the man made flaws that make the lights different from stars are some of the aspects that make them so beautiful, and the overwhelming natural stars are connected to the infatuation with the beauty of our universe.

a picture by my brother (zach edwards) of the milky way on our summer trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands

blurry pic from lafarage lake

the second experience i would like to share was an intentional aesthetic experience where my family, some family friends and i had set out to Capillano Suspension Bridge. here we were surrounded by magnificent lights that stretched high above the tree tops, and sparkled in the air. i found this experience extremely joyous as i appreciate lights very much. on this cold night, a few of the others who had joined me took no pleasure in walking among the lights, which caused me to think of everyone’s different perception of beauty. although most people on the light walk would agree that it was pretty, doesn’t make the experience inherently beautiful.

another blurry pic from Capillano

 

 

 

 

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