Beauty- What is it. What is it's opposite.

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Beauty- What is it. What is it's opposite.

Postby meylox » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:17 pm

i have been involved in a discussion about the nature of beauty. 'Beauty' like 'pretty' can describe an aesthetic but 'beauty' essentially goes beyond the aesthetic.

Firstly I want to seek opinion on what the opposite of Beauty is. Ugly is the opposite of pretty. Is grotesque a suitable opposite for Beauty?

Also i am interested by my observation that 'Beauty' is a deeply emotional response, as is 'grotesque'
Is Beauty an observation of emotional/spiritual response? In this sense does it differ from 'Pretty', which to me seems to be a visual/status response?
Is Beauty an expression of awe and appreciation of the 'godthing' ?
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Re: Beauty- What is it. What is it's opposite.

Postby David R J Brown » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:14 pm

I'm not sure that I would accept the presuppostion that beauty goes beyond the aesthetic. That would be to suppose a limit the significance of aesthetic functions, perhaps based in a bias toward "rational" functions.
Beauty does carry a sense of awe in my mind, as well as attraction. The sense of being compelling is important too.
Repulsive might serve as an opposite; grotesque can have a sense of fascination like a good horror movie.
Or perhaps "boring" might be a better candidate.
There may even be situations in which beauty might become its own opposite.


I wonder whether the neurology of beauty, like that of love, extends significantly into the cerebrum. Love is often put into the category of emotions, but the other emotions are distinctively functions of the amygdala and limbic system (evolutionarily more primitive than the cerebrum) although obviously they affect cerebral function secondarily.

Perhaps beauty is the aesthetic of love
The opposite of love is indifference
So I don't really care what the opposite of beauty is
I may have a different idea tomorrow.
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Re: Beauty- What is it. What is it's opposite.

Postby paul.doran » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:14 am

I have to agree with Mr Brown on nearly all points here.
Fascinated by the possibility of beauty being its own opposite.
The idea of anything being its own opposite seems a bit incoherent, but when it concerns 'beauty' it seems to be possible in some way - something to do with 'awe' or 'terrible beauty'
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