The Secret Power of Beauty: First Edition

The Secret Power of Beauty First Edition The notion of beauty is elusive we love the things we find beautiful and yet we are inarticulate when we try to communicate this love or describe its essence We are aware of people paintings and ho

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  • Title: The Secret Power of Beauty: First Edition
  • Author: John Armstrong
  • ISBN: 9780140294729
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Paperback
  • The notion of beauty is elusive we love the things we find beautiful, and yet we are inarticulate when we try to communicate this love, or describe its essence We are aware of people, paintings and houses that are universally recognized as beautiful, and yet we know also that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder In defining beauty and our response to it, we are oftenThe notion of beauty is elusive we love the things we find beautiful, and yet we are inarticulate when we try to communicate this love, or describe its essence We are aware of people, paintings and houses that are universally recognized as beautiful, and yet we know also that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder In defining beauty and our response to it, we are often caught between the concrete and the sublime We wish to categorize beauty, to clearly label its parts, and yet we wish also to celebrate its mysterious and at times mythical power Armstrong s response is a discursive and graceful journey through various and complementary interpretations, leading us from Hogarth s belief that the essence of beauty lies in shapely curves, to Kant s discourses on the meaning of pleasure In this lucid and lyrical exploration John Armstrong aims to deepen our response both to beauty and to happiness As he shows, the ability to truly recognise the beauty that surrounds us in the everyday could enable us to deepen the enjoyment of our lives.

    One thought on “The Secret Power of Beauty: First Edition”

    1. John Armstrong writes philosophy books, but reading his books is more like listening to an interesting friend than like "reading philosophy." His ideas often strike me as thoughts I've had before in some vague form; what's great about Armstrong is that he's taken the time to make the thoughts whole and to write them down in a clear, engaging way. (More than once in The Secret Power of Beauty, he laments the inaccessibility of the writings of philosophers like Hegel, so being readable is clearly [...]

    2. Like Alain de Botton, John Armstrong writes accessible philosophy books which are enjoyable even for those who are not of a philosophical, logical or abstract bent. In this highly discursive treatise he traces the nature of beauty and our response to it through such things as Hogarth's shapely curves, Pythagoras' theories on harmony, Palladio's ideas on well-proportioned architecture, Kant's meaning of pleasure and so on. It stays on the surface and doesn't lead to any profound insights or concl [...]

    3. After reading this book John Armstrong became my favourite author!! Very lucid prose, inspirational and highly persuasive. :)

    4. This book was a source for a research paper I was writing on Aesthetic Education. It was a thought-provoking read. I'd recommend it for creative people -- artists, writers. Not light reading.

    5. If only other philosophers could be half so lucid as Armstrong. He looks at various theories of beauty throughout the ages and shows their strengths and weaknesses. He discusses, and rejects (at least in part), the subjectivist theory, the Marxist theory, the evolutionary theory, the utilitarian theory etc. Since he gives his point of view so much more clearly than I could, here it is:“The central error of the subjectivist position is not its stress on individual response but its implication t [...]

    6. A fascinating discussion on the value we place on beauty in our cultural, historically and today. He has very interesting ideas, provides equally fascinating research and he has a beautiful (!) writing style which makes this a pleasant reading experience. It is an extremely interesting read.

    7. Very well put, quite a lot of aphorisms (for sounds original but then maybe this needs to be verified) although the images should have been produced in colored as there were some explanation were it was required.

    8. Armstrong presents an organized, historical approach to understanding how we think about beauty (or should). JA begins with Hogarth's thoughts, elaborates by how Hogarth didn't solve the problem.

    9. Although Armstrong's arguments are supported by numerous psychological research, its approach is too philosophical for me.

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