Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blog #27 - What is beauty?

One of the eternal questions that most if not all civilizations question is "what is beauty?" By figuring out what beauty is, we can discover other kinds of answers.

Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn" (Can beauty reveal truth?)

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Is Mathematics Beautiful?

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Autobiography, 1967, v1, p158.
"It seems to me now that mathematics is capable of an artistic excellence as great as that of any music, perhaps greater; not because the pleasure it gives (although very pure) is comparable, either in intensity or in the number of people who feel it, to that of music, but because it gives in absolute perfection that combination, characteristic of great art, of godlike freedom, with the sense of inevitable destiny; because, in fact, it constructs an ideal world where everything is perfect but true."

The Study of Mathematics
"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty -- a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show."

Aristotle (384 B.C.-322 B.C.), Poetics
Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry.

Here are some questions that we can discuss about beauty that should really get the ball rolling:

1. Can we argue rationally about whether something is beautiful?

2. Is beauty both skin deep and in the eye of the beholder?

3. What's the difference between surface beauty and deep beauty?

18th Century German philosopher Immanuel Kant thought that if we think something is beautiful then we want everyone to agree with us. Is perception a skill?

4. Would the world be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful? Nehamas thinks the world would not be better off because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our personality and individuality.

5. What can we learn about ourselves from what we find beautiful? Some people believe that it illuminates our style.

6. Is taste a function of education and economics? Explain.

7. Is natural beauty ever better than constructed beauty, like in art or music?

8. Do beauty and happiness go together? Why or why not?

Please pick 4 of the 8 questions to answer on beauty and aesthetics.

250 words minimum - Due Friday, December 4.

Many of these questions were taken from a discussion found on the website below:



  1. To me, beauty is what a person is like in the inside. Outside beauty just adds to the visual appearance of the person. I believe beauty and happiness go together. When someone is a good person and beautiful in the inside, they are typical happy people. Happy people give to others and share their joy with the world. I do believe in some cases though, that you can be beautiful, and also unhappy. Natural beauty to me is better than constructed beauty. Someone that is naturally beautiful is more confident with themselves and doesn’t need to hide their outer appearance in clothes or makeup. Surface beauty is what someone sees on the outside. You usually see surface beauty right away. You don’t need to know the person to see their surface beauty. That’s why deep beauty is more important. Although someone might seem more attracted to someone because of their surface beauty at first, in the long run, they’re going to be more interested in deep beauty; such as personality. Everyone looks at beauty a different way. Some people might argue that inner beauty is less important than outer beauty. Some might feel the opposite. And some might feel both are just as important. But in my opinion, inner beauty is the most important. -Hilary Sircus

  2. 1.) I don’t think that people can truly argue about the meaning of beauty because beauty is different for each person. Beauty is one of the most subjective ideas that we as humans have. I think that beauty is all about how a person presents themselves. Beauty is more about the way a person is rather than the way that they look.

    6.) Taste has to do with the personal choices of a person. Some people will be more inclined to choose things based on their economic status but there are also those people that choose to have really expensive cars and own a really lousy house. I think that taste is not so much dependent on the economic status of a person rather than their personal choices.

    7.) I think that natural beauty is almost always more beautiful than something artificially created by man. I can see this in places like the Grand Canyon and even Mount Everest. I think that some people will argue that music created by man is beautiful and it is in its own right but I think that the music that birds sing and the blowing of the wind is a more beautiful sound. I think that most beauty is not artificially created because it is something that a person creates by themselves.

    8.) I don’t think that beauty and happiness go hand in hand because even though it can add to one’s happiness beauty does not make you happy by itself. It’s important to recognize that happiness is all up to the person and it’s their own decision to be happy even if beauty is not there.

  3. 1. I would say you cannot argue rationally about whether something is beautiful or not, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has different ideas about what beautiful is. For instance, abstract art – the kind where there are just random paint blots over a canvas – I find ugly and simple. I feel like it doesn’t take any work to do, and it all looks the same. Some people though, think that that is an amazing form of art and pay thousands of dollars for abstract paintings. If you tried to argue with them, it wouldn’t be a rational argument at all, because you would just be arguing over their opinion, which usually you can’t change.
    2. Beauty isn’t just skin deep. People can be beautiful or ugly on the outside, but people can be beautiful or ugly on the inside too. But once again it also is in the eye of the beholder. Some people might think some people are bad at heart, while others may think that the same person is truly a good person.
    3. The difference between outer beauty and inner beauty is pretty simple. Inner beauty is the things you do, and the feelings you have. Outer beauty is just what other people can see on the outside, and is just judgment based on appearance.
    8. I would say that beauty and happiness do not go together necessarily, at least in the case of outer beauty. Sometimes they probably can, but usually when you strive to be something that you aren’t can make you unhappy. When people try to look beautiful and put a lot of effort into it, usually they don’t end up happy, because it was too much work for something so little and meaningless.

  4. Katie- 4th hour
    Beauty is subjective and therefore anything that a person finds beautiful can be attractive to them. Some people find the symmetry of math beautiful and others can take an ordinary object and see the simplicity and beauty of it. Beauty is not something that can be argued rationally about because it is based on opinion and therefore has no true evidence to support it. We can also learn about ourselves by the things we choose as beautiful. It makes people unique and allows them to form opinions on what they are passionate for, desire and want to keep around them. If a person loves books and finds a particular passage beautiful while someone else can read it and just see words it allows for difference of opinions and varieties allowing us to all have our own personal likes and dislikes. This accounts for our individuality, because if everyone agreed exactly what was beautiful and what wasn’t we would not have our own opinions that make us unique.
    Just like we can find anything beautiful, what kind of thing it is makes no difference. Whether it be a beautiful scene in nature or the straight symmetrical lines of a book we can find man made creations just as beautiful as nature because that is their origin. Paper, oil and plastics all somehow came from the earth and they remotely carry their beauty and creation. Art and music are also constructed from people’s minds and creativity and therefore carry the same beauty that does in nature. Through our creativity and personal taste we can find things that our beautiful to us and surround ourselves with what we are passionate for and find beautiful.

  5. Megan Walsh 4th Hour
    In my opinion, beauty is something that we like. When we find something to be beautiful we enjoy looking at it, or hearing it, or experiencing it. Beauty can be used to describe more than just the way something looks. A piece of music can be described as beautiful, or someone might call an action beautiful. I think that what makes us think something is beautiful is our brain enjoying that thing. What is beautiful to one person may not be beautiful to the next. What we perceive as beautiful is a reflection on our views and ideas of good and bad. I think that everyone to some extent believes that beauty isn’t black and white. There isn’t beautiful and not beautiful. It is an opinion; therefore beauty cannot be determined by just one person. It’s like when whoever said “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. You cannot just declare that something is beautiful and state it as a fact. It may be beautiful to you but to someone else it might just be tacky. There are, however, trends in what is seen as beautiful. Many people like the same things. Most people would agree that Brad Pitt is more attractive than Dick Chaney. But maybe Dick Chaney’s wife thinks Dick is the bee’s knees. I think that also many people’s opinions about beauty are reflected on their appearance. Someone who might think that the color purple is the most beautiful color in the world might always wear purple. Then maybe if another person also felt that way about purple would probably think that the first person was pretty hot. And if the second person was also wearing purple-because they love purple-the first one would be like “wow. I like your shirt” then they could go on a date because they would have that in common. And maybe you can judge a book by its cover. In that specific hypothetical situation.

  6. 1. No, I do not believe that we can argue rationally about whether something is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and people view beauty in different ways. Some people only look at physical beauty; others view beauty beyond just physical features and look for mental beauty. Even in looking at physical or mental beauty, some people find certain things more attractive and beautiful then others. We all have different tastes therefore an argument is pointless.

    3. Surface beauty requires people to appeal to the public. To be considered “beautiful” in this period of time, you must follow the standard that the media and other sources have created. For example, the Barbie Doll, given now that they have different hair colors and “styles”, they are still none the less skinny, tall, and happy. Deep beauty is having a metal aspect that appeals to others, making people want to be around you. I deeply believe that people define people and in order to be defined as beautiful, people around you must define you as that.

    4. I agree with Nehamas that the world would not be better off if there was a standard of beauty because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our personality and individuality. I believe that currently there is a model set that certain people are supposed to look like, for instance girls are supposed to be skinny and guys are supposed to be muscular and manly but I do not believe this is the right way to live. Conformity eliminates all individuality which goes against all our freedoms as Americans.

    8. I do not believe that beauty and happiness go hand in hand. Many girls strive to be skinny and yes if they achieve that goal others make become more interested in her but is she truly happy inside? A lot of times the answer is no. People, men and women, go to extreme lengths to fit the model of our society and they may now be considered beautiful in other people’s eyes but how they got to that and the fact that physical beauty influences peoples drive to be around that person does not always reveal happiness.

    Alyse Yashinsky

  7. 1. There is no possible way which beauty can be argued rationally. Beauty is a matter of opinion. To use the saying which will more than likely be repeated several times throughout this blog, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Arguing whether or not someone is beautiful is like arguing that vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate (which it is) , it’s a matter of opinion subject to many different perspectives.
    4. While I can understand the arguments for the world being better off if everyone had the same definition of beauty, I, personally, agree with Kant. When conformity is the norm we as people lose the individualism which helps define us as people. It is important that we all express ourselves and not strive to conform to a universal view of beauty. Everyone has some part of them that is beautiful and allowing them to express it is important.
    6. Taste is a function of economics but also a product of the media and culture that a person is exposed to. A person living in an upper class suburban area will be able to afford the fancy shoes and the expensive coats that the famous celebrities are wearing. Likewise, someone living in a lower class urban area cannot afford everything they desire but strive to achieve it in order to be beautiful and to fit in.
    8. Happiness does not stem from beauty. A clear example of this is famous celebrities. These celebrities are some of the most beautiful people on earth and yet they are, many times, more unhappy than the average person. When a person is happy, however, they have a positive aura about them and people want to be near them so no, Happiness does not stem from beauty, beauty stems from happiness.

  8. Sara Dziubek
    2. Beauty is both skin deep and in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but only to a certain point. There are people who appear more attractive to others based on their personality or how well someone else knows them, but that can only go so far. Society has set a standard of what is beautiful and if someone completely misses that standard, they will not be considered beautiful even if they have a wonderful personality. On the other hand, there are different types of beauty: inner beauty and outer beauty. Someone may not have any of the standard outer beauty traits and still have a lot of inner beauty.

    3. Surface beauty is the first thing people see when they look at you, and the first thing on a person another person can judge. Surface beauty is very superficial, and really has no meaning and tells nothing about a person. Deep beauty is the type of beauty you have to work at to achieve and the type of beauty that has more meaning and value. People with surface beauty do have to work to maintain their appearance, but a lot of their beauty comes from luck and good genes. People with deep beauty actually have to work hard to be a good person which is worth more than just having a pretty face.

    4. The world would not be better if everyone agreed on what is beautiful because every culture has their own idea of beauty, and other cultures ideas on beauty should not be forced on others. No one should have to follow a set of standards that say what beauty is. Not only different cultures, but every individual person has different views on what beauty is. While most people have a mental set of beauty in their head, based on what society says, ideas of beauty can still differ slightly. For example some people may think blond hair is ugly while other may think it’s gorgeous.

    8. I think that beauty and happiness do go together, but mostly deep beauty and not surface beauty. I think surface beauty can bring people immediate happiness, but it can’t fulfill your whole lives amount of happiness. Deep beauty does go together with happiness because in the end, if you’re a good person you will have more fortune. Also, when you are lying on your death bed thinking about your life, you aren’t going to be thinking about whether or not you had good hair or good skin, you will be thinking about what type of person you were and what you did with your life.

  9. Laetitia Crosnier 4th hour
    1) I don’t think that one can rationally argue whether something is beautiful or not. Beauty depends completely on the person observing it. Someone may easily say that an object, person, or moment is beautiful, but they can just as easily say that it’s horrible. It all depends on how the person was brought up, their taste, gender…
    3) The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty is only something that one may enjoy observing from the outside. It can easily be revolting on the inside. While deep beauty is invisible, no one can really touch or even see it. It’s a feeling or a smell. A person can easily be ordinary on the “outside” and gorgeous on the inside. This may be because of the way they act or because of a hidden talent.
    5) I think that finding something beautiful reflects our own tastes. We may learn about what colors we prefer, what season, what moments… everything depends on us and how we perceive things. In beauty we also find out what we dislike. We learn to have our own opinion which differentiates us from everyone else.
    7) I don’t think that natural beauty is better than constructed beauty. Music and art reflects the hard work that the artist put into the piece. The point of that piece may be to reflect natural beauty. Both of these things are as beautiful. No one can really say that one is better that the other, both are different.

  10. 1. We cannot rationally argue about whether or not something is beautiful because beauty is only an opinion and should not be based on the mean opinion of the population. This goes for anything that is opinionated which is pretty much everything. To rationally argue involves thinking, and everyone thinks in a very different way so opinions of beauty will all be very different. Some believe that coming to a conclusion or answer after working intensely on a math problem is a form of beauty while others believe things such as musical expression is the definition of beauty.
    7. In terms of art and music, I believe that constructing the piece is just as important as having a natural approach at doing anything creative. Time on task is extremely important when creating something and working out the kinks of it. You have to have hard work and concentration while constructing anything. Being able to paint or write something naturally is the primordially important part of craftsmanship, but the following hard work is what constructs something magnificent such as the Mona Lisa. When speaking in terms of humans I believe natural beauty is the most compelling form.
    2. I believe that beauty is mostly in the eye of the beholder and also skin deep, because if the depth of the skin is not visible or present, then the eye would have nothing to see and make a judgment by. An example of beauty being skin deep is that two or more people, who think completely differently, can find beauty in similar things, hence celebrities and popular music.
    8. I believe that beauty and happiness sometimes come hand in hand. It all depends on what makes a person happy, wheter it be a towering social status, or playing in a high school band. I know plenty of people who don’t look beautiful, in my opinion, but have been able to find beauty in other things that keep them more fulfilled than anyone.

    Ian Perfitt
    Honors Philosophy
    4th hour
    December 02, 2009

  11. Alesia Dunlap 4th HourDecember 2, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    Alesia Dunlap 4th Hour

    2. I think beauty is skin deep and in the eye of the beholder. I think that surface beauty is very vague because there are many forms of beauty like your personality can be beautiful, but some people fail to see what is on the inside and only lean towards what is on the outside. Also, when it comes to the eye of the beholder God made everything beautiful. In Peter 3:3-4 says “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

    3. The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty only goes beyond what is one the outside and that is how most people in society look at this day and age. But some people in the world look at what is on the inside because what is on the inside is only what matters because the most beautiful thing that is in the inside is the heart.

    7. Natural beauty is better than constructed beauty because when people try to make themselves of who they want to be they are considered to be fake in a sense. When it comes to natural beauty you are accepting who you are and loving yourself onto what you made to look like. When it comes to constructed beauty you are actually concealing you really are and not becoming who you are in reality.

    8. Beauty and happiness actually go to together because in order to be beautiful you have to be happy first. Beauty and Happiness are kind of like synonyms. You cannot have one without the other.

  12. 1. We cannot argue rationally about if something is beautiful or not. Beauty is an opinion in the eyes of the beholder. Some people only apply beauty to the physical appearance of a human and forget about the beauty of nature, art, and music. Therefore, while someone believes a specific piece of music may be beautiful, another person may not understand how something that does not involve a physical appearance can be beautiful.

    3. There is a huge difference between surface beauty and deep beauty. Surface beauty is merely physical appearance, while deep beauty has to do with the brain. In our society there is a certain stereotype to what surface beauty looks like. I believe that everyone truly is beautiful in their own way and they these stereotypes should be eliminated. Deep beauty is personality traits, interests, and the way a certain individual acts. I believe people with kind hearts and who have interested in assuring their own well being, as well as others well being have deep beauty. Once again though, it is all just an opinion.

    4. I do not think that the world would be a better place is everyone agreed on what is beautiful. Unfortunately, I feel that majority of or world thinks beauty is a physical appearance. If we all agreed that a certain look of a person was the only kind of beautiful in this world, there would be an increase in discrimination and hate all over the world. However, if we lived in the utopian world and everyone agreed that the most beautiful thing was nature and protecting our earth, then the world certainly would be a better place. People would strive to take care of our earth and protect it, creating a better place to live. We would all put our differences aside and work towards one goal.

    8. I think that beauty and happiness go together. When I personally create a beautiful painting, or write a song that I feel is beautiful, then I feel so satisfied with myself and it brings me happiness. The greatest feeling comes over me whenever I am in a beautiful place or when I am looking at beautiful scenery. The key to happiness is to find something you believe is beautiful and to picture that thing whenever you are feeling sad.

    -Jules Ashe 4th Hour

  13. Jake Prosyniuk 4th Hour
    Beauty can be defined as visions of happiness. When we determine something as beautiful, it usually embodies an idea or circumstance that makes us happy. For example: a ‘beautiful’ forest. The trees and calmness remind us of a serenity that has faded from our lives. We recognize that if wish to be happy, we must become like the peaceful forest, and apply its docile nature to our own lives. We must lack something in order to see beauty. As far as beauty in people goes, men might find women beautiful if they remind them of certain things. Whether it is sex, their mother, home, simplicity; they see these women as the solution to the absence of these things. This definition can be applied to all of the questions mentioned above. To argue rationally about beauty is silly. If two people do not agree on the beauty of an object, it is clear that that object means something to the one who sees it as beautiful, but not to the other. This difference in opinion stems from a difference in visions of happiness. The one that does not see this beauty either does not lack the traits embodied in this object, or does not see it as a path to happiness. This being said, beauty is not universal (and cannot be universal), and an individual’s idea of beauty is subject to change. It could also be said that beauty is only temporary. Once beauty is possessed, the subject cannot see the object as beautiful for forever, eventually they will accept this beauty as a part of themselves, and they will no longer desire that object. By finding what you see as beautiful, you can find out what you desire, and eventually figure out what you want to pursue in life. Taste can be directly connected to beauty. For example, royalty that enjoys ornate decoration and expensive clothing, see the power, money, and status of their royalty embodied in these objects. Natural beauty can be equal to constructed beauty. If they present the same ideals with the same power, they can be seen as equally beautiful. That’s about it…

  14. David Mohan

    1.We cannot really argue rationally about whether something is beautiful because beauty is defined differently in everyone’s mind, and there is not a single standard in place that distinguishes what is beautiful from what is not. If everyone has their own idea of what beauty is, it would be impossible to argue because it is mostly based upon opinion, and opinion is of course impossible to rationally argue with or against.

    3.The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty can be characterized as people’s outer perceptions of you, specifically the way you look, talk, and act. Deep beauty is strictly mental, and is characterized by your views, personality, and the way you think. I do not believe that perception is a skill, I feel that it is more of a quality or characteristic that a person possesses, rather than a skill which must be practiced and developed to be improved.

    4.The world would not be better off if everyone agreed upon what is beautiful because beauty is different for everyone, and the point of beauty has to do with a separation from things that are not beautiful. If everyone agreed upon what is beautiful, there would be a strict set of guidelines that would define what is beautiful and what is not, which would cause a small percentage defined as beautiful. When really this is not the case.

    8.Beauty and happiness could possibly go together if beauty is something that someone truly wants to achieve. However, when someone says they want to achieve beauty it is most likely that they want to be desired and well-liked, and if this is the person’s goal, then it is probable that the person will not be happy because the acceptance they receive is superficial.

  15. 1: We can argue rationally whether something is beautiful, because the idea of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or someone’s perspective of beauty can differ between each person. Some people may even show the beauty in something that others failed to realize was beautiful, which broadens their horizons to other beautiful things. For instance, the optical illusion of a drawing from which people are asked if they see a young woman or an old lady is a popular, yet excellent example of this idea. If someone can open your eyes to the beauty in things, your argument can change.

    2: Beauty is both skin deep and in the eye of the beholder. The reason it is skin deep is because men and women are usually attracted to the opposite sex that are similar to themselves. There’s more of a chance that a fair skinned, blonde hair, blue eyes female will find a man with blonde hair and blue eyes more attractive or beautiful than an African American man with brown eyes at first glance. Now, on the other hand, if the man with blonde hair and blue eyes turned out to be a jerk with a horrible personality, while the African American man was affectionate, caring, and courteous, then it is more likely the female will find the African American man more attractive because he has a beautiful personality.

    Perception is not a skill. It is not always used with the eyes. We can perceive things to be dangerous or harmful from touch or smell, but we all have a different sense of perception. Referring back to the optical illusion of a young woman and an old lady, some people may just observe the young woman, while others only perceive the old lady, or there are those who see both. Skills are traits that can be practice to be improved or harnessed, but perception of beauty is not a skill. Perception in general may not be a skill either due to genetics, but if it’s used in a sport or some activity that someone has trained for, then yes it has become a skill.

    8: Yes beauty and happiness go hand in hand because beauty is known to have a positive connotation, so we all wish to be beautiful. If someone acknowledges that you are beautiful, then you can be happy, because doubt may cloud your mind, but a certain someone was able to illuminate the beauty that is there or within. From my knowledge, I can’t think of a reason why someone would dread being acknowledged as beautiful. In fact, existing in life is beautiful; therefore you can be happy in life.

    Timothy Weerakoon
    H. Philosophy
    4th Hour

  16. Jake Ozar
    Honors Philosophy
    Mr. Wickersham
    Blog #27 What is Beauty?

    1. Can we argue rationally about whether something is beautiful?
    Yes we can argue rationally whether something is beautiful or not because everyone sees beauty differently, I feel beauty is defined by the eye of the person saying it, passing judgment on whether something is beautiful or not.

    2. Is beauty both skins deep and in the eye of the beholder?
    Yes beauty is skin deep because everyone is beautiful in their own way on the outside, on the inside, both everyone is beautiful. In the eye of the holder Beauty is judged mostly by the way someone looks, and rarely what they have inside what they have hidden. I personally define beauty as what people have inside of them being there personality.

    3. What's the difference between surface beauty and deep beauty?
    Surface beauty is the way someone looks on the outside, and has nothing to do with the inner beauty someone may have. Inner beauty is the most amazing thing in the world. Inner beauty as I see it is the love, kindness, passion and faith someone has inside of them, rarely shown to someone they can’t trust. Deep beauty is all feelings and emotions inside someone’s heart.

    7. Is natural beauty ever better than constructed beauty, like in art or music?
    Natural beauty is absolutely amazing it could be a waterfall in the middle of a forest sparkling down crystal clear, pure water, or a sunset with all different kinds of colors. Constructive beauty like music can be inspiring, and can touch the heart with its beauty. Love is the purest form of natural beauty. It’s so beautiful it can make a grown man cry tears of happiness. It’s the best feeling in the world, pure happiness; to be in love is the most naturally beautiful thing ever.

  17. When discussing beauty, there are many things that should be taken into consideration. For one, it depends on who you are asking and what they love. For example, if you were to ask an engineer what he/she believes is "beautiful" they would probably refer to a type of car or a well built building. If you were to then ask an artistic person what they think is beautiful the answer would probably be a reference to a painting or nature/ an animal. For some, the answer is mixed. Now, I'm not saying that people fall into categories, but past records show that the left and the right sides of the brain follow different thought processes.
    Another thing that needs to be placed into consideration is an individual's experiences in life. If you were to ask a person who has had many struggles with health or unfortunate events happen to them, they might give you a completely different answer as to what they think is beauty. They might tell you that a man/woman in a wheel chair is beautiful because of their determination, or a doctor that helps others only because they care is beauty. They could tell you that they think beauty is another day that they wake up and are still here. You see, "beauty" is only a word, it doesn't have one definition, it has as many definitions as the number of people on this planet. Of course, there is one responce to that question that many of those people share and that is: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I too share the same opinion as you can see.

  18. One cannot argue rationally about something’s beauty. Beauty is all relative, in the eye of the beholder. Cultural differences help shape one’s idea of beauty, what tribal Africans may see as beauty can differ greatly from what some fat American thinks is beauty. To tell someone they are wrong about a perception is not only ridiculous but absurd. Also is one talking about physical beauty or inner beauty? Our idea of physical beauty originated with the Greeks idea but in between now and then it has changed. During the renaissance era Europeans found fat women to be attractive because it ensured life after child birth which caused many women to die. Some tribal people have long necks, giant lips and even holes in their ears large enough to fit a hang through. No one person’s idea of beauty is correct for it is a personal idea. One may find intelligent girls to be beautiful while others may find it a revolting trait. Plus we must acknowledge the difference between physical beauty as well as inner beauty. Physical beauty is how one looks while inner beauty is how they act, who they are, what they do. I may find that those who help the needy are gorgeous while others may think they are repulsive for helping the poor. The difference between physical beauty and inner beauty seems quite blatant, inner beauty is who you are, while physical beauty is how you look.
    Beauty and happiness can go together depending on the person. Someone’s sole want could be to be with someone they feel is physically beauty or has inner beauty. In this case those being with someone beautiful would lead them to be happy which links the two ideas together. For others they may need/want more than just beauty regardless of the form, they may want something deeper than just beauty. Possibly self-fulfillment.

  19. When talking about beauty, I believe that it depends on the opinion of the person and their environment. You can’t rationally argue about beauty with someone because they will have a different perspective. Someone that lives in Ukraine won’t necessarily find someone beautiful as we would in the United States. Our stereotypical “beauty,” is tall, very skinny, and unique looking. While our society obsesses over this ideal person, another individual might look at the stick figures and find them to be malnourished. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and depending on if they believe it goes deeper than looks depends on that specific person. Some people, usually superficial, will only look at someone’s outer appearance to determine if they’re beautiful or not. Others don’t necessarily think it matters if a person is stunning but rather their thoughts and opinions. Surface beauty is what you look like and how you present yourself. Inner beauty is your personality and ideas. Some people are so obsessed with their outer beauty that they forget that the majority of people are looking for inner beauty; which I think truly matters. I don’t think that the world would be better off if there was one type of person that was considered beautiful. It is good to have different perspectives because what we believe is beautiful does reflect the type of person we are. If we were all obsessed with the same thing, too many people would try too hard in changing themselves, to fit the ideal man or woman, that they would lose who they really are along the way.

  20. 1. There is a difference between surface beauty and deep beauty. Surface beauty is something that has to do more with looks. It is a person’s appearance and can be physically changed to the way that they may want it to be. Deep beauty is something a person is made of. It is who they are defined as and the way that they live their life, their outlook on life.
    2. When we think something is beautiful, we often treat it well. We take care of the things we cherish to look at better and think better of them. We treat people on the way that we see them which can be different for everyone. What we find beautiful shows our preference which is why some people are attracted to a certain stereotype or characteristic.
    3. Natural beauty is more appealing than constructed beauty. Technically anyone can construct themselves to look a certain way, even the way that they fantasize about. This way though is not natural, it is not pure. Natural beauty on the other hand is wholesome and real. It is what you are made to be and if treasured, can be much more. I think people who are naturally beautiful are real and beautiful, even if they are not perfect.
    4. Beauty and happiness do not always go together but sometimes they can. Happiness is really independent from beauty because it is how you feel, not what you are. Happiness is a reflection on one’s life. Beauty can make you happy, but it all depends on how you use your beauty. If you are cocky and conceded, most likely people will not want to be around you and therefore make you unhappy. If you treat your beauty as a gift, you can find that you can be happy with what you have.
    -nick slish

  21. 1. I do not believe that we can argue rationally about whether something beautiful is better or not because I don’t think there is an exact definition of beauty. Although many people have similar ideas of what beautiful is, every individual’s idea is different than the others’. Who ultimately decides who is beautiful? Does anyone have that real authority? I do not believe there is any one person who can make a “rule” on who and what is beautiful so a rational argument could not be made.
    4. I don’t think it would be better if everyone had the same idea of what is beautiful. I agree with Nehamas in his idea that what we perceive as beautiful reflects our individuality. Every person has their own hobbies, interests, and beliefs which influences their opinions and ideas of things, like beauty. If we all had the same idea of beauty then that would probably mean we all had the same interests and beliefs which bring us to a very boring world!
    5. I think there is a lot that we can learn from ourselves from what we find beautiful. Some may think that beauty is on the outside and some may think that beauty is on the inside with a person’s character. If someone sees beauty as only a physical thing then they might learn that they are more interested in only the looks and surface of things, rather than getting to know a person, and vice versa for someone that looks at inside beauty. If you analyzed the things you think are beautiful you could pick out things about yourself that you might want to change. For example, you could find that you may be too judgmental or materialistic from these opinions.
    8. I think that beauty and happiness going together could often be tied with the saying “Money doesn’t buy happiness”, which is similar to the fact that beauty doesn’t actually bring happiness. But, some also say in response to that quote “Rich or poor, it’s good to have money”. I think this is the same with beauty. There could be a famous and beautiful model that is very unhappy with her life. But, there could also be a girl who is very unhappy and then someone tells her that she is pretty, which makes her happy. Beauty doesn’t literally bring happiness, but I don’t think that it hurts to be beautiful in most situations.

  22. 2. True Beauty is neither skin deep nor in the eye of the beholder: Beauty is something else all together. Beauty is completely subjective to individuals even though their ideas can be influenced by their culture. Beauty, or to be more precise true beauty, goes far deeper than we can possibly imagine or hope to perceive: it transcends time. To say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is to say that, to another, the beauty does not exist. True beauty is something that can cross all boundaries and cultures.

    4. The world would be much worse off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful. In a practical sense, that would give rise to the belief that there would be a select group of people that are beautiful and the entire world should emulate them. In a more existential sense, with a defined model for beauty we would not only lose our diversity and identity as a group but we would, once the entire world conforms to become beautiful, lose what it means to be beautiful. It we are all beautiful then we are all average and therefore no one is beautiful.

    6. Taste, as in taste in people, depends on both education and economics. For instance, back in the 18th century, the most widely admired women were the most corpulent. This attraction was for two main reasons. The first of which is that they women would have enough money to buy the amounts of food required to make herself that rotund and thereby could provide stability for her people. Secondly larger women had the ability to have more children than smaller more fragile women. The more children you had, the more hands you had to work on the family farms and, eventually, the more incomes you would bring back the family name. The current belief that the thinner a women is the better, however, shows how taste is a product of education; there is no biological reason that men would desire women who look frail and weak.

    8. Beauty and happiness do not necessarily go together. While the general idea of happiness could, and most likely should, be considered beautiful by all cultures the beautiful are not always happy. In our country the beautiful, thanks to our definition of beauty, requires a lot of work and effort. This stress could negate any happiness that might be incurred because of her beauty. While in many third world countries, people, who would not be considered beautiful by many, have some of the highest levels of happiness in the world: Happiness is beautiful but beautiful things are not always happy.

  23. 1) Arguing rationally is impossible about something beautiful. Since there is nothing to measure beauty by. Beauty is specifically viewed by the person viewing it. For example, I went with my friend to the dealership when he was going to purchase his vehicle. He thought it was the best looking thing ever. It had bug eyes and was a wagon, but no matter how much I tried to convince him that the car is ugly. He was convinced that this car he purchased was a beauty.
    2) Beauty is all in the eye of the beholder. What you believe is beautiful comes down to your environment and your personality. Back in the 1900’s a girl with very pale skin and a very thin hips was considered beautiful, the environment in the U.S has changed since then, and what men find attractive in women are completely different now.
    7) Yes, natural beauty can be better than constructed beauty. Even though constructed beauty is limitless with the possibilities, natural beauty has its own way of being beautiful. For example after watching a couple of American Idol episodes, of just regular people singing, some of the participants sung beautifully with no instruments or anything. However in constructed beauty such as instruments and beats and now the computer, great music can be created without even a single voice being in the song.
    8) Beauty and happiness can be together, but there influences on each other, not exactly correlated with each other. Beauty can cause happiness, but happiness alone is not caused by beauty. Happiness can be caused by millions of other factors, thus the reason beauty and happiness or only influences on each other.

  24. Olivia Lossia-5th Hour
    There isn't just one way to describe beauty. Everyone has their own way to describe what beauty means to them. To me, beauty is not only how you look, but your personality and how you act.
    1. Rationally, you cannot argue whethere something/someone is beautiful or not. To one person, a rose could be the most beautiful flower in the world, and to another it might not be. Or someone might think Megan Fox is the most beautiful girl in the world, and someone else might think that Angelina Jolie is. Everyone has a unique way of looking at and thinking about things, so arguing about whether something is beautiful would be a never ending debate.
    3. Someone could be gorgeous, but have a horrible personality. Or someone might not have the greatest looks, but be the nicest person in the world. When you are asked what beauty is, it is common that to imagine looks, surface beauty. But when you think about deep beauty you think of a personality, how people act, whether they are mean or nice, boring or enthusiastic. For example, if you meet someone for the first time you might "judge a book by its color". Say that person you meet is not beautiful at all, but after talking to that person for a while you realize that this person is really nice and funny and fun to hang around.
    5. Everyone has their own opinions about what is beautiful and what is not. I believe that what you find beautiful and what you don't find beautiful tells a lot about a person and can show different characteristics. Someone who finds nature absolutely beatiful and someone who thinks nature is ugly and bland have different ways of looking at life. Someone who thinks of beauty as how good you look and wearing the right clothes is more materialistic, while someone who looks at beauty as a person's personality or individuality isn't.
    8. It depends on what beauty is to you. If you are talking about surface beauty than I do not believe that beauty and happiness go together. Just because someone looks pretty doesn't mean they have the best life or they are actually happy. But if you are talking about deep beauty, than yes, beauty and happiness would go together. Someone who is beautiful and kind on the inside will be happy. It all depends on your opinion on what beauty is.

  25. 8. Do you beauty and happiness and go together? Why or why not?
    I believe that happiness and beauty do go together; something like the sun and rain. Even though they are different one affects the other. Just how the saying goes “the sun will come after the rain.” Sometimes someone can be unhappy but the only thing that keeps them going is there beauty or something they find beautiful or someone that is happy their happiness can be surfaced off of how they feel inside which they may consider “beauty”.

    5. What can we learn about ourselves from what we find beautiful? Some people believe that it illuminates our style.
    We can find a bundle of things about ourselves depending on what we think is beauty I do agree with some people that believe it illuminates our style. Someone who thinks the oddest is the most beautiful can be considered incoherent on one hand or unique on other (this is strictly opinion). We can learn our likes and dislikes, we may learn that we are different from everyone surrounding us and find unusual things unique or we may learn that we are complacent and find the same things beautiful and hardly if ever expand our horizon of what we find beautiful. Whether it’s someone who’s spiritual and finds soul R&B beautiful but won’t listen to anything else, or a guy who thinks light-skin women with light eyes and long hair are beautiful so he won’t date anything else. What you consider to be true beauty can definitely say a lot about your character.

    4. Would the world be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful? Nehamas thinks the world would not be better off because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our personality and individuality.
    No I don’t believe the world would be better off if everyone agreed on what was beautiful. Me personally I dare to be different ALL THE TIME, I love being the odd ball, and sore thumb. It’s called individuality! I totally agree with Nehamas because that does define our personality. So how can we decipher who is an individual if everyone thinks the same and finds the same things beautiful. You can’t!

    3. What's the difference between surface beauty and deep beauty?
    When I think of surface beauty I think of things that aren’t hidden and easy to find. More so external than internal, but when I think of deep beauty I think of something that’s not easy to find, maybe even rare, and it takes deep searching in order to find deep beauty. I believe deep beauty is honestly hard to come by.
    Alyssa Thompson
    5th hour

    Beauty will always be a topic of discussion that people will debate rationally upon.
    Beautiful is such a broad term; people can only see their definition of beautiful in certain aspects of life that others might not see. Society controls the influence-I repeat influence-on what people BELIEVE beautiful is, through magazines, Ads and celebrities/idols. Who knows what these brainwashed minds would have thought beauty was, we’ll never know because since day one these specific credentials on what beauty is have been plastered everywhere like nothing else can be beautiful. These types of influences drain and burn what beauty is really about; they focus on surface beauty. Surface beauty is physical attraction of a being-shallow minds give in- and deep beauty is so much more than that, open minds fulfill the word beautiful with thinking:
    It is the person inside that is beautiful.
    People connect chemistry/vibes with a person to the beauty of nature.
    Nature is beautiful.
    Jewelry is beautiful.
    Math can even be beautiful; it’s insightful, intriguing and complex.
    A deeper beauty is a connection, rather an attraction.
    Which people forget through the unstoppable influence society has on us.

    But the influence of what beauty is will never stop, the world could never come to an agreement. “Nehamas thinks the world would not be better off because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our personality and individuality.” I couldn’t agree with them more. This world would not be better if everyone agreed with what beautiful was because people are individuals and have individual thoughts and opinions on life; Beauty is a HUGE part of life, believe it or not. Perceptions of beautiful vary because of influences that populate surface beauty and others that see the deeper meaning of beauty..

    Natural beauty is better than constructed beauty; People should love their own individual beauty, It would bring happiness. But now with all of the pressures happiness and beauty can’t go together so easily because the more and more people construct and edit their “original beauty” to get to this never ending chase to “surface beauty” they further themselves away from their selves and who they truly are and would that make you happy and beautiful?...mmm,no.

  27. 1.) It is not possible to argue rationally about whether something is beautiful. The idea of beauty means something different to everybody because the word itself brings up different emotions and ideas that are unique to that person alone; therefore, when two people look at the same object, they will draw upon different experiences and ideas and will never truly be able to mechanically describe the process of how they decided that that something was beautiful or not.
    3.) Surface beauty, on the one hand, can be defined by both your physical features and your day-to-day actions. Included in this are the clothes you wear, your attitudes and reactions towards events, and most simply the way you look compared to a certain standard, usually the standard of whoever is judging beauty. Deep beauty, on the other hand, can be defined by things that make you a human being. Included in this are your personality, your character, your integrity, and other things of that nature.
    4.) This question definitely depends on what you consider to be “a better world.” If you consider that a better world is one in which all ideas are ubiquitous and originality and uniqueness are nowhere to be found (a common motif in “utopian” literature), then yes a common standard for beauty would be better. But, for a world like ours that is founded on the immense diversity of views and ideas, a common standard of beauty would most likely have a disastrous effect to every culture not conforming to the new standard
    6.) While I might not completely agree with this argument, it can definitely be argued for. First of all, our ideas, including our taste, are the sum of what we learn and analyze from our environment. For most of us, our environment is mostly made up of our parents and our peers and teachers in school. So, it can definitely be argued that what we like only comes from our education, or what we learn from our environment. At the same time, the economics of our world determines what we can afford to buy and thus, the only things we come in contact to. Therefore, the only taste we can know will come from what we are able to encounter because of our economic situation.

  28. Sammy Voutyras 4th HrDecember 2, 2009 at 5:52 PM

    1) Beauty is different to everyone; therefore a clear definition of beauty isn’t possible. Saying something is beautiful is not a fact, but it is an opinion. I don’t think there is one thing in the world that everyone can agree on that is beautiful or, for that matter, is ugly. Defining beauty defines you… It can show someone’s personal experiences, their opinions on different matters, and their values in life. One person might think something is beautiful because it reminds them of a something great in the past, while another person might see the same exact thing, but view it differently because of what it reminds them.
    3) I think that surface beauty is what society perceives to be beautiful. Though there are many different definitions of being beautiful on the surface, I think for most people, there is a general definition of what beauty is, though it varies throughout cultures, time periods, etc. People often see beauty as what is hard to come by, as what is different. Surface beauty is what is initially seen. Beauty is often a comparison to others, how different you are. Surface beauty is different than deep beauty because surface beauty is more concrete and is usually a universal concept. Deep beauty, however, is someone’s personality; their views on the world and values in life. Someone’s deeper beauty is based on what is inside on them. Deep beauty is discovered, and not always seen, like surface beauty is. Deeper beauty is based on the one seeing the beauty, based on how they feel about life and the great qualities they see in another person.
    4) Since people’s definition of beauty is dependent on their life itself, it is impossible for the world to agree on one concept of beauty. If this was the case, everyone in the world would be the same. Like I said before, the definition of beautiful is what makes people different and is based on what someone’s life is about. Therefore, it is impossible to have a clear definition of beauty. It seems like similarities make people get along, but it’s actually the differences that are what makes people learn from each other and more thoroughly enjoy things. Differences are beautiful.
    5) I think beauty and happiness go together. Not necessarily if others see you as beautiful, but if you see yourself as beautiful you will be happy. I think the key to happiness is contentment in oneself, not just on the outside but on the inside as well. If everyone strives to make themselves beautiful on the inside- a good person- then everyone will be happy. In a superficial way, beauty on the outside can bring happiness as well. If you feel good about yourself, you will most likely be happy with yourself, at least on the outside. You don’t necessarily have to be what others would define as beautiful, but you must see yourself as your personal definition of beautiful, and happiness will follow. I think that one can still be happy if they aren’t necessarily ‘beautiful’, but I think accepting themselves on the inside and out is what brings happiness.

  29. 1. Well sure you can argue rationally about whether or not something is beautiful, but in order to do so, the arguments you make must be designed to open up the eyes, either physically or metaphorically, of the person you’re arguing with. If someone is looking at an object or a concept from just one side, and you have seen all sides of it, you have perceived more of it, and by opening the other person’s eyes so they see a different side of it, you have a chance of convincing them that your opinion of its beauty is correct. But keep in mind that they’ve been through an entirely different life than you have and may be viewing the object with different prejudices, experiences, emotions, and ideas than you are, so even after you’ve “opened their eyes”, they might still not agree with you.
    3. There is a big difference between surface beauty and deep beauty. Surface beauty is when something is visually appealing, or there is some obvious trait about something that makes it beautiful. Deep beauty is very different. Deep beauty is when, upon closer examination and deep thought, a deeper meaning reveals itself in the form of underlying symbolism, connotations, or purposes that fit together perfectly like some sort of complex web that connects all the different parts to form an overall deeper meaning than what one can get just by looking at the surface.
    4. No, the world absolutely would not be better off if everyone agreed on what was beautiful. In order for that to happen, either each and every person would have to be exactly the same person as everybody else, or someone would have to decide for everyone else whether any given thing was beautiful or not. Who would decide that? How would they be selected for that position? And if the first scenario is the theoretical reality for this question, it would mean the end of individuality because everyone would be the same. That would be terrible. Human achievement would slow to nearly a halt. And can you possibly imagine how boring life would be, if everyone acted the exact same way you would, and agreed with you on everything?
    7. Neither natural beauty nor constructed beauty will ever be better than the other because they are entirely different types of beauty, offering entirely different experiences, and as such cannot be compared to one another. Natural beauty can be an awe-inspiring experience that allows you to really feel the raw power that nature wields or to truly connect with nature and feel at one with the world. Constructed beauty is a completely different experience. It allows you to not only gain an appreciation for what beauty mankind is capable of creating, but it also gives you insight into the beauty of mankind itself, and the complexity of the mind that is capable of creating ideas of beauty from absolutely nothing.

    Drew Fisher
    5th hour

  30. 2.) I feel beauty is both skin deep and at the same time the eye of the beholder. I feel that looks play a role in beauty but I feel for the most part people fall in love with another person because of their personality and what they have to offer to the world, but what I may find beautiful may not be beautiful to another person, and that’s why they say it’s in the eye of the beholder.
    3.) Most young people are attracted more to the outer beauty of one person rather than the inner beauty. For example, appearance is everything in society of young people because they know that whether they get that guy/girl’s number that night depends on how they look. Young girls grow up hearing more of the outer beauty aspects rather than the inner beauty; they ask close friends if their hair and nails look good rather than asking if their personality is beautiful. When we grow older that’s when our outer appearance starts to become less of a worry for us. We tend to such for a soul mate that is kind, caring, and respectful. When you’re older, you want someone you can grow old with and that truly makes you smile, not because that person is hot but because they’re a good person and they bring out the best in you.
    Being able to see you beauty and experience the beauty of something or someone is definitely a skill, a skill of perception. Some people might have more outer beauty than inner beauty than another person, and it might be vice versa for another person. Either way, everyone is beautiful in some way. Being able to see and experience beauty is a skill or a gift because not everyone is able to see that every person is granted beauty in some way.
    8.) To a certain extent yes beauty and happiness do go together but some of the most beautiful people are not always happy. We see a lot of famous actresses and singers committing suicide or turning over to drugs because they’re not happy with themselves. Beauty and happiness go together only when that person feels that their beauty is both inside out, if you have a person that is beautiful on the inside they’re not going to be fully happy because they’re constantly going to be thinking what they can to do change their outer appearance to become happy or happier. While the people who are beautiful on the outside may feel empty on the inside, feeling as if they’re missing something. In conclusion, beauty and happiness play a equal role with each other and in order to be happy you must have to since some sort of beauty, while having beauty must bring some sort of happiness.

    Bianca Kea
    5hr. H. Philos.

  31. 1. I don’t believe that one can rationally argue about whether something is beautiful because there is nothing to measure beauty by. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even though most people’s ideas of beauty are similar, everyone still has a different opinion. Beauty depends on the person who is observing it. Some people only think about looks when they think of beauty; whereas others might think of ones inner beauty when they think of beauty.

    3. The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty is based on your appearance and deep beauty is based more on the things you do and that feelings that you have. Surface beauty is based mostly on looks, and is also somewhat based on the way that people see you act.

    4. The world would be much worse off if everyone agreed on what beautiful is. I agree with Nehamas idea that the world would not be better off if there was a standard of beauty because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our own personality and individuality. Individuality is what defines us as people and if everyone looked the same there would be no individualism. People shouldn’t have to follow a set of stands that say what beauty is. Everyone has his or her own interests and beliefs that influence their opinions on beauty. The only way that we would be able to have the same idea of beauty would be if we all had the same interests and beliefs.

    8. I don’t think that beauty and happiness go together. Just because someone is physically beautiful doesn’t mean that they are happy. For example if someone was really attractive people might use him or her for their body, which could make them very unhappy. Or if someone was beautiful on the inside but not on the outside people might never take the time to get to know them and this would cause one to be unhappy.
    maia knox
    4th hour

  32. Amanda Schmerin, 4th hour
    December 3rd, 2009

    1. I personally do not think that it is possible to rationally argue about whether something is beautiful or not. This is because I truly believe that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. While to one person beauty may be based purely on looks, another may argue that inner beauty is what solely counts. Seeing that the definition of beauty differs from person to person, and that it can be defined in many different ways, it seems impossible to argue about its true meaning.

    3. There is a massive difference between surface beauty and deep beauty. Surface beauty is described as one’s outer appearance- such as body type, weight, hair, skin, and more. Although it is a terrible thing to “judge a book by its cover,” all humans are guilty for doing this at one point in their lives. I believe that the definition of beauty should rely exclusively on deep beauty. Deep beauty is defined as the honesty, happiness, modesty, and one’s general concern for others’ well being. Although a person’s appearance may attract one to another, it is the beauty within the person that keeps another’s attention.

    6. I believe that taste is a function of economics as well as education. People in today’s world are surrounded by a society that believes that certain things, and those certain things only, are what define beauty. For example, magazines constantly stress that if women don’t wear the latest fashions, they aren’t as good as the women who do. Unfortunately, if a person does not have the money to buy the "best" clothing, which tends to be the most expensive, they may feel as if they simply do not fit in. This can also cause a person who can afford these things to think that they are better and more beautiful than others, and vice versa.

    8. I believe that happiness and beauty do go together, but only to a certain extent. For example, if you are at a party and someone tells you how beautiful you look, you tend to feel better about yourself, making you a happier person. But on the other hand, beautiful people are not always happy. For example, some of the most beautiful people in the world are unhappy with their appearance, and they may even let it take over all of their feelings. This proves that happiness and beauty do usually go together, but not all of the time.

  33. 1) Everyone has their own view of beauty. Some people think that a certain car is beautiful based on its appearance or the way it drives. Others may think that a brewing storm out in the distance is beautiful. With these differing views of beauty, we cannot rationally argue about whether something is beautiful because a consensus will never be reached.
    3) Surface beauty and inner beauty vary in several ways. Surface beauty is your appearance and the way you are seen by others, whereas inner beauty is the way you act and the way you handle certain situations. Inner beauty is what defines someone, not surface beauty. Inner beauty truly shows who a person is and what they are all about.
    4) Beauty is something that defines us and can give someone else an idea of who we are and what
    our beliefs are. The world would not be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful. This would give no definition to a person, individual characteristics would be insignificant and so individuality would no longer be something that one holds.
    7) In my view, natural beauty and constructed beauty are on completely different levels. To some people, the ‘Mona Lisa’ is the most beautiful painting ever created. To others, there is nothing more beautiful than the Grand Canyons or the Niagara Falls. I agree that the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is a magnificent painting, but compared to the astounding fact that the Grand Canyon was created by nature, it is no match.
    Richard Widdett
    4th Hour

  34. 1 .I do not believe we can argue rationally about beauty because of the subjective nature of the subject. Beauty is defined by individuals and what I think is beautiful may be very different then what Richard thinks is beautiful. Though Richard has a different perception of beauty it doesn’t mean his point of view must be wrong.

    3. The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that our perception of surface beauty is often influence by outside sources such movies and tv shows. Deep beauty on the other hand is mostly defined by the individual and less on the surrounding society influencing it. This makes inner beauty much more personal and defined from person to person opposed to surface beauty which can be influenced by many different sources.

    4. I do not believe the world would be a better place if the world all believed the same thing was considered beautiful. As Nehamas pointed out much of our individuality is based on what we find is beautiful. The music that I enjoy or consider beautiful may affect the way I dress or act which would create individuality. This theory would also create conflict in that we would all try to obtain the same object or person we find universally beautiful.

    8. I do not believe that happiness and beauty go together because how beautiful I am on the outside will never affect how I feel on the inside unless I let it. My surface beauty can never affect my emotions if I do not let it .Therefore happiness and beauty does not always go together.

  35. There is no arguing whether or not a human, piece of art, sound, or landscape is beautiful. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and those all around it. Beauty is a perspective and everyone’s is different. A person can because physically beautiful, or one can see a friends inner beauty exemplified by acts of kindness or their overall personality. Beauty does not have a defined look. It can appeal to any of the human senses. Something can smell beautiful, look beautiful, feel beautiful, taste beautiful, and sound beautiful. Candles, people, fabric, food, and music all can trigger something in you that gives you a good feeling of inner happiness-that is what I call beauty. For something or someone to make you feel that way is beautiful. If everyone agreed on what the definition of beauty was, it would cease to exist. One person pretty can be another person’s ugly or “beauty” can be an expression of individuality. It can take longer to find someone’s inner beauty opposed to seeing their outer beauty, plus someone’s outer beauty is bound to change. Beauty is and individual view on an object and what we find beautiful is what we appreciate most, which is what is out of the ordinary. If someone woke up every day and saw the Himalayan Mountains knowing they would later climb them that day, they would begin to be repulsed by the sight of them. However, if they switched places with a Las Vegas local, they would find the city beautiful with lights and buildings. If the person in Las Vegas saw the Himalayan Mountains, and knew they would go on a 30 day hike up the mountains, they would be most likely be thrilled; That person would find beauty at the bottom of the mountains, climbing the mountains, and at the top of the mountains. If the climbing expert in Las Vegas were to set foot on the strip, they would find every light bulb in the lit-up city beautiful. Beauty varies, and there is no such thing as a definition for it, no matter what the dictionary says. –Dayna Kozlowski

  36. 1. Discussing beauty is not a rational discussion; therefore arguing about another’s perception of beauty is just as irrational. The idea of beauty is an abstract idea; there is no true, concrete, basis for an argument for or against beauty. To define something as beautiful is also to define it as ugly, unattractive, palatable, gorgeous, horrendous….all of these can define beauty or ugliness, depending on the person who is describing the idea or object. And, in the same ridiculous abstract sense, beauty can be defined as ugly. For example: “the painting is so beautifully ugly that I’m considering paying an exorbitant price for it!”

    3. To describe something as ugly on the surface, but beautiful beneath, is to try and describe something you think someone else is likely to find unattractive, but you find interesting and aren’t prepared to take the responsibility for. That might be confusing (it sort of confuses me), more simply stated, if you think something is beautiful, whether it is an object, a person, an idea, a poem, a philosophy, etc., you should be able to qualify why you perceive that “thing” as beautiful. Even if you have to describe this object or idea in intangibles, just so that you can convey what your perception of the beauty is. But, if you think something is beautiful, but you are in a situation where that would not be the common sentiment, you may suggest that there is an inner beauty to this object or idea. This absolves you of the responsibility associated with believing in the beauty that you see by suggesting that the beauty is so deep than only you have the capacity to see it. For example: if you are an individual living in Soviet Russia who is pro-capitalism and you are forced, in some convoluted situation, to admit to your love of capitalism, you may suggest that there is an inner-beauty to capitalism; thereby absolving yourself of your conviction in the belief.

    4. Beauty is what allows us to decide what we want, don’t want, like and dislike. In itself, beauty is an abstract term to describe those things we feel positively towards. So, if everyone felt that all the same things were beautiful, our society would crumble in on itself, for lack of individuality. If I may suggest that beauty is the equivalent of “feeling positively towards” then everyone would feel positively towards the same things, ideas, etc. While some have suggested that this would be a utopian society, I feel that experiments of thought like Orwell’s 1984 effectively disprove this idea. In his book, Orwell paints the picture of a society of an oppressive government that limits individuality to the extent that dissenting thought is illegal. Through the course of the prose Orwell describes to his reader why this is impossible, that people will think differently regardless of the attempts to make thought uniform. The book does end on the note that the greater society has won, but I feel that this is a warning to future societies of the potential danger of this story as nonfiction. Therefore, I think that everyone has to have their own sense of beauty.

    6. Taste, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore it is an abstract idea based on the experiences had by the individual. Granted, a person of affluence has different opportunities when it comes to materialistically exploiting their tastes, but they wouldn’t know what their tastes were without their prior education. Education, meaning nature or nurture through school, the media, popular culture etc. Regardless of the method used to acquire their education, they can decide what they perceive as good versus bad, in a sense what is beautiful, and therefore develop their tastes based on that prior knowledge. A Kenyan individual, growing up in a small village with very little outside contact is not likely to spontaneously posses the same tastes as an American adolescent from a poor or rich Chicago community. Rather, they would be more likely to posses certain tastes in relation to their cultural underpinnings.
    Eric Singer

  37. Irina L.

    1. No I don’t think we can argue rationally about whether something is beautiful or not because everyone has their own opinions on what is beautiful. In our society today everybody has their own standards. What might be beautiful to one might be very ugly to another.

    3. The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty is the beauty someone has on the outside, how pretty they are and how people perceive them to be. On the other hand deep beauty is the beauty that you radiate from your inside. It is influenced by the actions that you take and by the decisions that you make.

    4. No I don’t think that the world would be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful because just like Nehamas believes, I believe that what we think is beautiful is a reflection of our personality and if you took that away from us, everyone would be the same. We wouldn’t be different from everyone else. As a matter of fact, the world would be worse off if everyone agreed on what is beauty because we would lose the great minds and different ideas these people have.

    8. I believe beauty and happiness don’t always go together. You can still be happy and not be beautiful. But then again it depends what beauty you are talking about. Surface beauty and happiness don’t always have to go together because you can be unattractive but still be happy. On the other hand, deep beauty and happiness do go together because if you help someone out or are a nice person in general you will be happy. Overall, beauty and happiness don’t always go hand in hand. You don’t have to be beautiful in order to be happy.

  38. 1. Yes, we can argue rationally about whether or not something is beautiful. Everyone has an opinion on what is beautiful and give reasons why they think so, so why not debate it logically. Every debate consists of people asserting their opinions on facts and it is considered rational, including beauty. As long as someone gives specifics about why something is beautiful it is a rational debate.
    4. Perception is a skill in that you can use that perception to make people agree with you are gain popularity or make them want to buy a product. When we try to make others think something is beautiful however, I think we are really trying to find acceptance, not perceive what others like and think is beautiful.
    4. The world would not at all be better if everyone agreed on what is beautiful. The very notion of which brings to mind kind of a Nazi-like mentality, and we all know what happens then. If everyone agreed on what is beautiful I think there would also be enormous pressure to try and fit in, and if you are not considered beautiful no one would accept you.
    8. Beauty and happiness do go hand in hand, that is when we are surrounded by beautiful things and people how can you not be happy? I think that what is aesthetically-pleasing will not only calm us and make us feel good, but cause us to think and feel, as in looking at great art and literature.

    Claire Holton
    H. Philosophy 5th hour

  39. 1) We cannot argue rationally weather something is beautiful because everyone has a different perspective on what is physically attractive. Although there is a common agreement on what tends to be more attractive, a set standard and rating cannot be formed logically. This is due to a person’s varying opinion on the degree to which a person is attractive. For instance, it is not hard to tell if a woman could be classified as good-looking, but arguing her attractiveness to a degree is irrational, since every person has a different view on what is beautiful.
    3) The difference between surface beauty and deep beauty is that surface beauty is the outward appearance of a person, disregarding personality or morals. Deep beauty is the combination of physical attractiveness and the said person’s mind and personality. Although it is illogical in the sense that people should appreciate personality over looks, everyone still judges appearance first, including myself. Although I wish I didn’t, I am not afraid to admit that I judge by appearance first.
    5) It is natural to find beautiful what we seek in another person. That being said, our wants and needs with show themselves within our desires for a life partner. The traits of the desired person may mirror our deficits in personality. It is for that reason that I truly believe that two people who are perfect for each other actually complete each other.
    8) Honestly I believe that beauty and happiness don’t go together, seeing that being physically attractive usually means a compromise of intellect and personality though not always. In my opinion, to achieve total happiness, a person must be self-satisfied by their own personality, and then a compatible spouse should be introduced. So to answer the question from a statistical standpoint, I would have to say no.

  40. Stefanos Thomopoulos
    5th Hour

    We can argue rationally about whether something is beautiful because beauty isn’t just based off of what someone looks like, beauty can be an art piece or a piece of music. Beauty is different in everyone’s eyes, everyone sees beauty as something else than another person but we can still argue if something is beautiful. Beauty isn’t both skin deep and in the eye of the beholder. Beauty can be from what someone hears like a song that a performer performs that touches someone and is beautiful. It can also be of how someone looks or how something looks like an object or an art piece. But beauty is determined by the individual and what he or she hears or sees.
    In some cases natural beauty is better than constructed beauty. Going outside and looking up into the sky at night and staring at the stars is a beautiful sight which cannot be constructed by any human. But constructed beauty like music or art is very soothing to listen to and look at which can sometimes be better than natural beauty itself. Deciding whether one is more beautiful than the other depends on how the individual looks at it. Yes in my opinion both beauty and happiness go together because when someone looks or listens to something beautiful it puts a smile on their face or it makes them happy and relaxed. When people look at the sun setting or the stars at night it brings joy to them and soothes them, I don’t think that when someone looks at those natural beauties that they can get upset.

  41. 1. Can we argue rationally about whether something is beautiful?

    I don’t believe that we can argue rationally whether something is beautiful or not because everyone’s idea of beauty is different. For some it’s on the surface, its material things, it’s merely a combination of hair and eye color. For others its art, or music and outward appearance means nothing. Our appearance isn’t within our control, its genetics, it’s just what we’re given and we can’t do much to change it unless we take drastic measures, such as plastic surgery. So I think it’s not only unarguable but also unfair to argue with someone else what beauty is.

    4. Would the world be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful? Nehamas thinks the world would not be better off because what we find beautiful is a reflection of our personality and individuality.

    I agree with Nehamas when it’s said that the world would NOT be better off if everyone agreed on what is beautiful. If everyone agreed on a certain set of surface and inner characteristics of beauty everyone would end up looking and acting the same because they’d all be trying to achieve the same general definition of beauty. It’s what we individually like and find attractive that makes us who we are, that creates our sense of style, and gives us our distinct personalities.

    3. What's the difference between surface beauty and deep beauty?

    Surface beauty is what’s on the outside, clothes, hair, eyes, and skin tone and texture. Deep beauty is what’s within, our personalities, our quirks, our flaws; it’s what makes us individuals. It’s our way of thinking and perceiving, it’s our ideas on what’s important and beautiful.

    18th Century German philosopher Immanuel Kant thought that if we think something is beautiful then we want everyone to agree with us. Is perception a skill?

    I slightly agree with Kant, because often people will argue whether this actress is attractive or ugly and most times people will get annoyed that the other doesn’t have the same opinion. At the same time, there are people who have the ability to accept others opinions and take their side into consideration instead of trying to push their ideas onto others. I do think perception is a skill that is only acquired when you can block out only your thinking and allow others in.

    Jessica Keyes
    4th hour

  42. Rachel Fine 5th hour

    1. We cannot rationally argue whether or not something is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and each person makes beauty what they want for themselves. Everyone has a different outlook on what is beautiful to them. Some people view beauty as what is on the outside or inside but inside of those categories there are also different aspects. Some people think beautiful is tall or skinny with long blonde hair, while others prefer short and curvy with tanned skin. Each person has a different taste or view on beauty. When it comes to inner beauty some might view shy and humbled as beautiful, while others think loud and crazy is beautiful.

    4. It wouldn’t be better if everyone in the world agreed on what is beautiful or not. Everyone would be like robots and view things like everyone else does. I can’t think of a way that would make it possible to have real relationships if everyone had the same outlook on what was beautiful. It would be a circle of the “not beautiful” lusting after the beautiful people that are with all the other beautiful people.

    7. I think natural beauty is better in every way than constructed beauty. There’s something so real about looking at a lake or trees that just puts beauty and everything else in the world in perspective for me. While constructed beauty can still be beautiful for me, it doesn’t have that raw sense of beauty that the earth naturally has. Paintings and music are beautiful but those came from the natural beauty of the earth at some point.

    8. I think beauty and happiness go together. I feel that you can’t be happy with somebody if you don’t find any part of them beautiful. You need to at least think the inside or outside of someone is beautiful to be happy with them. That applies to your relationship with yourself too. If you have no self confidence with inner or outer beauty, you aren’t going to be happy with yourself.

  43. 2. Yes because I believe that everyone has a different interpretation of what beauty is and everyone looks at different things as attractive. As for skin deep beauty, in my opinion, that is where true beauty is located.

    3. Surface beauty is the beauty that one sees on the outside, like a woman’s curves or smile or a mans muscles and eyes. While deep beauty is the person’s actual personality and where true attraction happens.

    7. I feel that its not fair to compare natural beauty to constructed beauty because they both have different characteristics of what makes them beautiful. The only two things of beauty that can be compared in my opinion when bridging the gap between natural and constructed beauty is when comparing a human to a piece of visual art and this is because it is stimulating the same sense but music can not because it is a piece of auditory beauty.

    8. Sometimes because some look strictly on the outside for a person that just look beautiful on the outside but that person could have a rotten personality causing quite the opposite of happiness. But then there are those that look for both internal and external beauty which can then cause happiness.

    Marcus Johnson 5th Hour

  44. 1: I don’t think that we can argue if something is beautiful or not because everyone has the same definition for beauty. Some people can think that lots of body piercing is beautiful; some people can think that wearing tons and tons of makeup can be beautiful, and some people can think other things. Not everyone has the same definition of beauty.
    2: Yes, beauty is both skin deep AND in the eye of the beholder because of what I said earlier –everyone has his or her own definition of beauty- and that there is a different type of beauty. Beauty can also mean inner beauty, like a persons personality. Inner beauty is more like the kind of beauty that you don’t see right away, you start noticing the persons inner beauty as you get to know them. I think that someone with inner beauty would be someone with a good moral being and that knows right from wrong; someone who isn’t afraid to show his or her true selves.
    5: What we think is beautiful is a reflection of our selves. I think that this is true because we think things are beautiful based off what we think is beautiful, which tends to be something close to what you try to be/look like.
    8: I do not think that beauty and happiness go together. I believe this because not everyone is happy, you could be the most beautiful person and you agree with people that you are beautiful, but you can still not be happy. This also works the other way around. I think that you can be the happiest person in the world and still not be beautiful. People may think that you are beautiful, but you may not believe them. You might think that you are not beautiful but that’s not stopping you from being happy.

    Carleigh - 4th


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