Philosophy—shattering the concept of simple, commonsensical ideas since the dawn of thought.
Take ‘beauty’, for example. What is beauty? Well, that’s easy. A sunrise is beautiful.
No, that’s an example of beauty.
Beauty is something that is appealing to the eye.
. . . It’s subjective.
Then it’s not something that’s appealing to the eye, since something that can be appealing to one person, can also be unappealing to another.
(vapidly nods head, suddenly wanting to be on anyone else’s blog but this one)
So. . .what’s ‘beauty’?
Plato described universals as ‘Forms’. The Form of Beauty is what all beautiful perceptible things have in common. The Form is eternal, immutable, immaterial, and the latter are not. However, what one person perceives as beautiful another person will perceive it as ordinary or even ugly. Therefore the commonality between beautiful objects isn’t how they look or sound or feel. The fact that different people can have different opinions about what is beautiful means that the physical or audial aspect of a thing isn’t what makes it beautiful. The commonality between all beautiful objects is the way it makes us feel when we perceive them. A thing that is perceived as beautiful will spark the same type of emotional response between different people; the emotions that are invoked when a guitarist sees or plays a fine guitar are the same emotions invoked as when an artist views a work of art that s/he perceives as beautiful. The guitar and the work of art are not in themselves the Form of beauty; however, they possess the capacity to demonstrate what beauty is to those who perceive them as such. Everything has the potential to show us the Form of beauty without itself being the Form of beauty because everything has the potential to be perceived as beautiful by something else.
So. . .you tell me what’s beautiful.