Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On Beauty and Being Just

Presenting the viewer with an opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. A beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our senses. Beauty has been accused of two things in political critique. First: beauty is a distraction and preoccupation from the intended social argument in an artwork, possibly leaving the viewer indifferent. Second: the gaze of the viewer is destructive to the object.

-The Political Arguments Against Beauty are Incoherent-

“The sublime (an aesthetic of power) rejects beauty on the grounds that it is diminutive, dismissible, not powerful enough. The political rejects beauty on the grounds that it is too powerful, a power expressed…” pg. 40

"Staring, as we earlier saw, is a version of the wish to create; it is directly connected to acts of drawing, describing, composing, lovemaking. It is odd that contemporary accounts of 'staring' or 'gaze' place exclusive emphasis on the risks suffered by the person being looked at, for the vulnerability of the perceiver seems equal to, or greater than, the vulnerability of the person being perceived..." pg 37

Binaries between beauty and the sublime:





-Beauty Assists Us In Our Attention To Justice-

For those who actively seek beauty, what precisely does the perceiver expect to experience within themselves when pursuing beauty? “Could one pursue truth if one had no interest in becoming knowledgeable? Is there a way to approach goodness while keeping oneself free of becoming good?” pg 41

-Fairness As ‘A Symmetry Of Everyone’s Relation To One Another-

Scarry's cave of beauty is similar Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

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