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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
R. Moore (ronmoore)
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 17:13:37 -0800 (PST)

Ben Schasfoort has been kind enough to send along to artsednet readers a
paragraph on beauty from a book he has written and uses in class. The
thing I really like about Ben's discussion of the issue is that it reminds
us of how the notions of beauty and of aesthetic experience have EVOLVED.
It is all too easy to think of beauty as being a timeless quality,
unvarying in its referants, so that we assume that ancient Greeks,
Medieval Arabs, and modern-day Trobriand Islanders all would agree with us
about what beauty means and what things are beautiful. But, of course,
as Ben points out, early thinkers used the notions of beauty and aesthesis
quite differently from the way we do, and it took centuries before the
idea of a separate field of inquiry called aesthetics could come into
being. So, we should be cautious about ascribing our views to others
remote from us in time and place. Still, we might wonder what common
threads there might yet be that bind us in our aesthetic sensibilities to
other people and other times. Doesn't it seem likely that most everyone,
everywhere, will think that a butterfly's wing is more lovely (beautiful,
schoen, beau, or whatever) than a pile of puke? I think the convergences
of aesthetic sensiblities are as remarkable as the divergences. Don't
Oh---and happy holidays to one and all!
Ron Moore