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Criteria for defining beauty, goodness and quality.

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1. What makes a thing beautiful?

2. Why do we pay good money to listen to music that depresses us or watch movies that make us cry?

3. What makes the "Birth of Venus" a piece of art and Playboy centerfold a piece of pornography?

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1. What makes a thing beautiful?

We are familiar with the phrase, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." And, while this may be true to a certain extent, there do seem to be general parameters within which beauty lies. Researchers have found for example that people are considered beautiful when their bodies are symmetrical and when their shoulder to chest to hips ratio falls within certain boundaries. This ratio even applies to architecture and nature.

Moving past just the physical appearance of something, beauty is generally ascribed to sights, sounds, feelings that make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves. When we view something and recognize it as an object but feel no pull, no stirring within us that makes us long to be somehow a part of that, it usually is not considered as beautiful. I look at a painting at long for the desire to be able to paint like that or experience the scene. I leave myself and selfish desires behind and long to be, experience and see something greater. It could be said that in some fashion beauty transports our soul from where it is to where it has the potential of being.

2. Why do we pay good money to listen to music that depresses us or watch movies that make us cry?

The ability to empathize and to visualize ourselves in a different time, ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a discussion regarding art and beauty and how to tell the difference between good and bad art, beauty and ugliness. Over 1,000 words of original text along with links to informative websites for further research.

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