Eating and the Tasteful Subject

One of the more fascinating books I’ve read recently is Lauren F. Klein’s An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States. Klein writes that “in the late colonial era and into the early republic, America’s cultural and political leaders identified a causal relation between the cultivation of the American palate and … Continue reading Eating and the Tasteful Subject

Ugliness and Climate Solutions

How aesthetics impacts our decision-making is often ignored or overlooked. Some researchers, for example, have claimed that our feelings (i.e., aesthetic responses) account for 85 percent of our decision-making for retail purchases. Another example from clothing helps to illustrate this point further. In Everyday Aesthetics, Yuriko Saito describes how natural fibers, such as wool and … Continue reading Ugliness and Climate Solutions

Jaume Plensa: Sculptor of Beauty

Art is supposed to express, rebuke, symbolize, inform, provoke, and so on. Few (if any) say that art is to just exist, and Jaume Plensa is one of them. As a sculptor, he says that he wants his work to exist, "to create beauty without any component of business in it." In this 2015 interview, … Continue reading Jaume Plensa: Sculptor of Beauty

Origin of the Golden Ratio

A common narrative about the Golden Ratio (1:1.618) permeates western aesthetic ideas, especially concerning beauty. We are taught that the Golden Ratio was discovered by the Greeks, perhaps Pythagoras, and that there is an assumed linear progression from their time to ours. In "The Golden Ratio, a Supposed Greek Invention, May have African Roots," Audrey … Continue reading Origin of the Golden Ratio

Concerning Organizational Aesthetics

John Dewey wrote about the disconnect that was forged between aesthetics and everyday. He describes how artistic practices were once part of the daily life of individuals in different communities. Dewey wanted to reconnect the aesthetic to the everyday, including our jobs. It is with this framework in mind that I present some ideas from … Continue reading Concerning Organizational Aesthetics

Review of Aesthetics by Bence Nanay

Bence Nanay published his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, with Oxford University Press in 2019. Below you can read the opening paragraphs of my review of it for the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, and find a link to the full pdf. Opening to the review: With hundreds of titles in Oxford’s Very … Continue reading Review of Aesthetics by Bence Nanay

The Beauty of Chance

I was forwarded an interview with a poker player named Maria Konnikova. Most of the interview involved her approach to poker, but the interviewer (Kevin Berger) led her into a discussion of the skill-versus-chance debate. While many top players insist that poker is a game of skill, Konnikova agrees but adds that there is always … Continue reading The Beauty of Chance

Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 2

A previous post discussed the importance of considering aesthetics in business from the book Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond by Pauline Brown. I wanted to follow up that entry with some insights from this book on how to develop aesthetic intelligence, specifically how to better curate your … Continue reading Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 2

Beauty in African Philosophy

Beauty has a long history in philosophy. "The Concept of Beauty in African Philosophy," by  Diana-Abasi Ibanga, adds to this history by explaining another perspective. Ibanga, a researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calabar, Nigeria, begins his article by drawing attention to the fact that the pursuit and experience of beauty … Continue reading Beauty in African Philosophy

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