Is true beauty long lasting (through long periods of time)? Is beauty therefore objective?


When people think of objects that are considered "beautiful," people think of gold, diamonds, and crystals. These objects are resistant to change over time and tend to last in their original forms. Gold tends to not rust over time and diamonds preserve their shape, despite being in a form (very exquisite) that would otherwise have seemed brittle.

When I think of true "beauty" I think of things that are not only "pretty" or "sexy," and these things decay slowly (in comparison to feces which changes to soil pretty fast). In contrast, I believe prettiness and sexiness to be below time (the laws of time govern these traits).

I believe true "beauty" to not only be long lasting, but also be above time (the laws of time doesn't govern it). I believe both "true beauty" and death to be ungovernable by time. Therefore, I believe true "beauty" can be objective and something would have to be above time to be objectively beautiful.

I know most ancient philosophers believe beauty to be objective, but do any philosophers talk about beauty being higher than time in a hierarchy (and name the hierarchy)? Do you believe true beauty should refer to things that are long-lasting or above time?

Yukang Jiang

Posted 2019-08-30T18:04:06.107

Reputation: 501

Most modern philosophers do not believe that beauty is objective, but they do not believe that it is purely a matter of subjective taste either, "it seems senseless to say that beauty has no connection to subjective response or that it is entirely objective". The objective conception that "treats beauty as a matter of instantiating definite proportions or relations among parts, sometimes expressed in mathematical ratios" was common before the 18th century, e.g. in Plato and Augustine, see SEP Beauty. That would make it timeless.

– Conifold – 2019-08-30T21:04:30.103

Plato considered mathematics and beauty to be timeless, just as all of his forms. He does have a hierachy, with the "highest Good" at the top.

– Conifold – 2019-08-30T21:22:43.763

Ok, well here I mean the possession of the trait of beauty, not what's considered beauty as being timeless. "He does have a hierarchy, with the 'highest Good' at the top." Yea, but I couldn't find time in that same hierarchy. – Yukang Jiang – 2019-08-30T21:27:41.303

Time is not in it, it is part of becoming, not true being, a sensible illusion. – Conifold – 2019-08-30T21:34:09.473

"Do you believe true beauty should refer to things that are long-lasting or above time?" I think defining beauty in such a way ignores the beauty of flowers, rainbows, and moments of unexpected kindness; and the true temporary nature of everything.... contrary to the well promoted motto, diamonds are not really forever. It also ignores there are plenty of things that last a long time that many would find ugly. – Uueerdo – 2019-11-15T21:59:34.833

No answers