Beauty, Truth And Goodness

In one way the identification of Beauty and Goodness goes back to Plato, inasmuch as the latter taught us about the eidola of these qualities and identified them with the deity itself. Rather than being in the eye of the beholder, Beauty thus became a heavenly reality. In later ages this manoeuvre would serve to apply a patina of sanctity to our hormonal responses to sexual characteristics. In another way, of course, Plato gave us a possible conceptual structure for debunking Beauty, namely the habit of differentiating between the Real and the Apparent. For some peculiar reason, the Platonist always assumes that whatever he sees in front of his nose is not the Real. This second manoeuvre gave those who did not possess Beauty a way of claiming that what they purported to have instead – which, being non-apparent, could less readily be disproved – was of vastly greater importance. Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Posted on May 15, 2009 at 10:51 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

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  1. Written by Urban Djin
    on May 15, 2009 at 17:05
    Permalink

    “Well, they would, wouldn’t they?”

    Staggering how different Western culture would be had Socrates looked like Alcibiades.

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