Attention to Beauty

In his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, Bence Nanay writes, "What all things aesthetic have in common is something very simple: the way you're exercising your attention" (p.22). To illustrate what he means, Nanay uses as an example the painting The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Landscape with the Fall of … Continue reading Attention to Beauty

JCLA: Interview with Richard Shusterman

On July 3, 2019, Yanping Gao conversed with Richard Shusterman, and that interview is printed in the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA) VOl. 43, No. 1, 2020. This conversation took place in Beijing following Richard Shusterman’s lecture to the Philosophy Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). One of the key … Continue reading JCLA: Interview with Richard Shusterman

'Vivaldi for Gorillas': Seeking Aesthetics in Adversity

Guest Post by Venkat Ramanan While held prisoner in Auschwitz, the Italian writer Primo Levi, in an effort to keep himself anchored, tried to recall all the cantos of Dante’s The Divine Comedy and explicate its intricacies to his fellow inmates. There were, naturally, gaps in Levi’s memory. He got frustrated with this lapse and … Continue reading 'Vivaldi for Gorillas': Seeking Aesthetics in Adversity

Engineering Aesthetics: Beautifying Practical Solutions

Engineering, we might think, is simply the application of math and science to solve practical problems. However, there exists an intimate connection with aesthetics. Rolf Faste—in his article "The Role of Aesthetics in Engineering"—mentions that the word 'aesthetics' has its origins in ancient Greek with the idea of sense perception. To understand the importance, he … Continue reading Engineering Aesthetics: Beautifying Practical Solutions

Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

The concept of design entered new arenas in contemporary society. Design in traditional fields, like architecture, has clearly changed as exemplified by modern architectural feats. And design has entered areas that didn't even exist years ago, like web design. With new developments and changes in culture, design demonstrates those change. However, there are some principles of design that … Continue reading Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 1

Beauty, and aesthetics more generally, is often considered to be nonessential. A pragmatic person may think aesthetics are unimportant, if something works. A humanitarian may think what's really important is that people are fed, clothed, and sheltered. A medical person may believe that health is the key concern for people. While all these elements are … Continue reading Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 1

Aesthetics and Usability

Pedro Canhenha wrote a short article called "Aesthetic, Visual Design & Usability" for UX Planet (CLICK HERE), in which he provides an overview of the relationship between aesthetics and design. Functional contexts, such as design and architecture, have a job to do. If they fail to work properly and efficiently, then they are not made … Continue reading Aesthetics and Usability

Consumer Taste

Theories of aesthetic taste have been developed in the fields of philosophy, psychology, and sociology. But market and consumer research has not spent as much time developing theories of aesthetics taste to put into their different practices. Wayne D. Hoyer and Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer opened this discussion in their article, "The Role of Aesthetic Taste … Continue reading Consumer Taste

Taste: Universal and Cultural

Beauty is the eye of the beholder. Regardless of what truth is contained in that statement, it is far too simple. The most common argument (not necessarily the best) is the a version of the following: people disagree about which objects are beautiful; therefore, beauty must be wholly subjective. And one's taste is subjective by … Continue reading Taste: Universal and Cultural

Urban Planning and the Beautiful

Beauty is likely not one of the most important considerations people think about when planning in an urban environment. Probably transportation and housing, along with other amenities associated with tourism, would be higher on most people's list. But in a CityLab article from May 15, 2019, Richard Florida explains some new research that shows a … Continue reading Urban Planning and the Beautiful