Beauty is a term used to describe an object or experience that pleases the aesthetic senses. It can be a physical object, or a mental idea that is contemplated. The definition of beauty has evolved over time.
A classical conception of beauty refers to the harmonious arrangement of parts. This is often expressed in mathematical ratios. In its most explicit form, the classical conception is found in the Italian Renaissance. These works are characterized by the use of geometrical figures, and the use of symmetry and colour.
In the ancient world, treatments of beauty often paid tribute to the pleasures of beauty. Plotinus, for example, wrote about wonderment and longing.
The first requirement of beauty is integrity. Another requirement is proportion. The fourth requirement is clarity.
A third requirement is consonance. When a compound is formed, its parts are arranged in such a way that each part is complete. However, lightning is not beautiful by symmetry.
The classical concept of beauty also includes an emphasis on a feeling of connection to the object. This is a key feature in neo-classical architecture and classical music.
Some of the most prominent philosophers of the past have argued about what constitutes beauty. For instance, Plato and Aristotle disagreed about what beauty was.
The most common philosophical accounts of beauty are divided between those that locate the quality of beauty in the object itself, and those that connect it to a response to love. Kant’s humanism, for example, could not explain the intuition that beauty inspires a sense of purpose.