In my ongoing effort to expand the philosophical portion of this blog (see: Where My Philosophical Girls At? and Is This Music?, I came across a blog called Philosophy News (which also happens to be on WordPress). Philosophy News describes the blog as follows:
Philosophy News is edited by Paul Pardi who has a graduate degree in philosophy and teaches in the philosophy departments of Seattle Pacific University and Green River Community College as an adjunct professor of philosophy. The goal of Philosophy News is to provide general updates on recent happenings in philosophy and provide commentary on philosophy events, positions, books, and ideas.
Among the interesting and topical posts on the blog, a recent article titled “Beautiful, Isn’t It?” caught my eye. Richard Pimentel, who, according to my google searching is an unknown in the field of philosophy, wrote this piece on aethetics, the area of philosophy concerned with art and beauty. Most of the article is comprised of Pimentel’s observations and musings. He opens by questioning whether Monty Python’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a movie he considers to be funny, can be objectively thought of as funny. Also, he extends this line of thought to music, where he evaluates whether And Justice for Allby Metallica is one of the greatest albums of all time. Pimenetel, however, also does some scholarly name dropping. He quotes Tom Morris, former professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and founder of the Morris Institute for Human Values, as an authority on the topic of beauty. At one point, Pimenetel writes:
In his book, Philosophy for Dummies, Morris writes, “Beauty ranges over very different sorts of things and actions. But one aspect is constant. Beauty always inspires…Beauty lifts our hearts and minds. It elevates the emotions and the attitudes.” With this in mind, we gain some insight into how it can be that I deem “The Holy Grail” and Metallica’s music to be beautiful pieces of art while my wife deems them otherwise. Or maybe not! Morris argues that “an experience of beauty involves an objective reality with the right qualities, but it also involves a subjective receptivity…But beauty is not, at bottom, a relativistic phenomenon.”
Is this an accurate description of beauty?