What Is Beauty? a First Introduction to the Subject and to Modern Theories

What Is Beauty? a First Introduction to the Subject and to Modern Theories

What Is Beauty? a First Introduction to the Subject and to Modern Theories

What Is Beauty? a First Introduction to the Subject and to Modern Theories

Excerpt

It is a common saying that there is no disputing about tastes, and we feel that there is a certain amount of truth in it. We cannot prove to a man that he is wrong in liking 'Rule Britannia' better than Blake 'Jerusalem' set to music by Parry, though we can convince him that he has made a mistake in geometry or in thinking that the earth is flat. Questions of scientific and historical fact may be so complicated that we despair of coming to an agreement; as, for instance, whether tariff reform would reduce unemployment or who was most to blame for the last war. But still we do know the sort of argument that counts in such discussions; we do think that if we knew more and understood better we could come to a convincing conclusion. But if we want to convince a man that St. Mark's at Venice is more beautiful than St. Peter's at Rome we do not even know how to begin. And that is not only because these are complicated buildings. We should be at least as much at a loss to prove that a primrose is more beautiful than a pin.

And yet, on the other hand, we do in fact dispute about tastes. We seem absolutely convinced that there is right and wrong somewhere in the matter . . .

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