Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

What is art? What is beauty?

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philosopher
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Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by philosopher » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:09 pm

Beautiful art/music is said to be subjective. I disagree on that, because an individual's subjective opinion is based on the mind, which is part of the body, which is nature and hence must adhere to natural principles.

So what are these natural principles? I'm not talking about evolution, but something far more fundamental:
Simplicity.

Light travels the shortest curved path past a gravitational object, water flows the shortest possible path down the river, and air molecules follow simple rules too.

In essence, you could say nature favours simplicity.

Another common feature of nature is symmetry, whatever shape it takes. Be it fractals, the Mandelbroth set, or counterparts in particle physics (neutrino, positron etc.)

Also, nature tends to keep a flow. Like a checkerboard. It is repetition.

If you look at beautiful art, be it abstract or traditional, if you look close enough you'll see these three fundamental principles applied to a good piece of art, that is well done:

Simplicity, symmetry & repetition.

Everything in nature seems to adhere to these principles. So perhaps our brains are hardwired to be pleased at looking at something simple, symmetrical and repetitive. Maybe our brains are using more energy when looking at "ugly art", because it struggles to find patterns. Our brains are hardwired into looking after patterns, this was a very useful ability when you needed to recognize dangerous animals from fellow humans.

My (dare I say "theory"? - I mean 'idea') is that the more energy we spend on trying to find patterns the more uncomfortable we feel, and when we finally do find the patterns our brains release endorphines or dopamine, which gives a comfortable feeling. However, a complex pattern that was not easily recognizeable, will not neccessarily result in increased well-being, because of the discomfort resulting from the struggle trying to figure it out.
The two situations cancel out each other.

Random strains of paint thrown on the canvas just won't look beautiful or pleasing to the eye, unless you're lucky they landed in a perfect pattern.

What do you think?

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QuantumT
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by QuantumT » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:44 pm

Congratulations with your first "Original Post" or "Thread" :wink:

Interesting questions indeed!

I see some issues with symmetry in the human mind. If you read a book, and the author repeats the same adjectives, it seems annoying or even amateurish. Same goes for song lyrics. Rimes are good, but repetition is bad.
The human body cut in half from the head to the groin, is a mirror reflection of itself, but there are small inconsistencies. If those inconsistencies were not there, we would see the person as fake or artificial. So inconsistencies and variation is vital for something to look and sound good. To appear natural.

IMO beauty is in imperfection.

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bahman
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by bahman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am

Sense of beauty is related to genetic. Genetic is related to evolution.

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:10 am

bahman wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am
Sense of beauty is related to genetic. Genetic is related to evolution.
Being related doesn't mean it's the same.

🇺🇸PhilX🇺🇸

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bahman
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by bahman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:40 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:10 am
bahman wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am
Sense of beauty is related to genetic. Genetic is related to evolution.
Being related doesn't mean it's the same.

🇺🇸PhilX🇺🇸
Who said that they are the same?

philosopher
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by philosopher » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:19 pm

QuantumT wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:44 pm
Congratulations with your first "Original Post" or "Thread" :wink:

Interesting questions indeed!

I see some issues with symmetry in the human mind. If you read a book, and the author repeats the same adjectives, it seems annoying or even amateurish. Same goes for song lyrics. Rimes are good, but repetition is bad.
The human body cut in half from the head to the groin, is a mirror reflection of itself, but there are small inconsistencies. If those inconsistencies were not there, we would see the person as fake or artificial. So inconsistencies and variation is vital for something to look and sound good. To appear natural.

IMO beauty is in imperfection.
There is no requirement of repetition to only repeat a part of itself. A fractal, for instance, repeats the entire sequence, hence creating the illusion of something bigger, or even variation (but there is no variation at all).

Think of a spiral. It repeats itself, but it doesn't follow a linear path.

The variations we see in nature are due to the fact we only see small or medium scales. Looking at the universe as a whole, I'm sure it will look more like a repeating pattern similar to a checkerboard or other pattern.

For instance, I'm sure there is a you and me "out there" too, either in this universe or in a multiverse. This "you" or "me" has the exact same lives as we have and the exact same "inconsistencies". I also believe there is a mirror-reflection of us somewhere else, that is mirrored again on another axis all the way until we reach our ends.

However this is only an idea/theory and it is not even my own. Some scientists claim this theory.

Ghost
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Re: Would nature favour beauty? If so, can we define it?

Post by Ghost » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:28 am

I read the other comments have covered what I was about to say, especially beauty being patterns on a large enough scale.
So I'll turn it around a little bit. I wish I knew whom to attribute this quote to, and I may misquote it as this is from memory,
"If beauty is symmetry, then imperfections are irresistible".

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