Beautiful is one of the leading categories of classical aesthetics, characterizing traditional aesthetic values. It expresses one of the fundamental and most widespread forms of non-utilitarian subject-object relations, is associated with aesthetic pleasure, perfection, the optimality of spiritual-material being, ideals, style, etc. Along with the good and truth, the beautiful is one of the oldest notions of culture, theology, and philosophical thought.
In the implicit aesthetics from ancient times, the terms “beautiful” and “beauty” were used in the context of cosmology, metaphysics, theology almost as synonyms, although the term “beautiful” was more often used as a broad appraisal category, and “beauty” – to denote the perfection of the universe and its components, i.e. wore prontological character. In the Mediterranean area, the notions of beauty and beauty go back to the ancient Egyptian culture, in which, as the texts of the 2nd millennium BC testify, the beautiful (nefer) was the highest characteristic of the gods, pharaohs, people, objects of the surrounding world. In man (especially in a woman), the physical beauty, associated by the Egyptians with sensual pleasures, was the highest. The very word “nefer” was often included in the official title of the pharaohs: before the name of Queen Nefertiti was added “Nefer-nefru-Aton” (“beautiful beauty Aton”). The Egyptians considered life to be beautiful; Under the beauty of household items often understood their benefits to humans. The chief god of the Egyptian pantheon was the sun-god Ra, so the sunlight was identified with beauty and the highest good; the divine light was synonymous with divine beauty. In the future, these representations through the biblical aesthetics in a transformed form will be inherited by Christian culture.
In ancient Greece, the beautiful (καλός) also had a broad evaluation character. Already Homer calls “beautiful” and physical (with an erotic shade) beauty of people, and the perfection of objects, and useful things for people, and the moral beauty of the corresponding actions of their heroes. For Ancient Greek philosophy, beauty is objective, the concept of beauty is ontologically connected primarily with the cosmos (κόσμος – not only the universe but also beauty, decoration, Mundus) and the system of its physical characteristics. Heraklit speaks of “the most beautiful cosmos” and its foundations: harmony arising from the struggle of opposites, order, symmetry; Thales claims that the cosmos is beautiful as a “work of God”; Pythagoreans see beauty in numerical orderliness, harmony (spheres), symmetry; Diogenes – in measure, Democritus – inequality, the sculptor Poliklet – in accordance with the canon; sophists associate beauty with pleasure, etc. Democritus, who wrote one of the first aesthetic works, On the Beauty of Words, saw the beauty of works of art in the “divine spirit” inspiring the poet and believed that “great pleasures arise from the contemplation of beautiful works” (in 194).
Beginning with Socrates, ancient aesthetics departs from ancient cosmologism; The Athenian sage was the first to raise the problem of beauty, as a problem of consciousness, of reason; for him, the beauty of the characteristic of things turned into an idea, a concept of beauty. Socrates brought to the philosophical level and such a specifically antique category as “kalokagathia” (καλοκάγαθία) – the beautiful and the good that functioned in the borderline of ethical-aesthetic notions, i.e., served as a characteristic of the ideal person. Kalokagathia, according to the ancient Greeks, is an asset of noble birth and beautiful upbringing and education. At Socrates, she stood on a level with wisdom and justice and embraced the whole complex of moral virtues associated with aesthetic receptivity. Plato understood calocathia as the proportionality of the soul and body. One of his definitions reads: “Kalokagatiya is the ability to choose the best” (Def. 412e). According to Aristotle, being calcareous means being beautiful in all respects, and virtuous. Thus, the concept of beauty in classical Greece was often not limited only to the sphere of aesthetic, but extended to the realm of morality. In Plato, the beautiful often side by side with the good, but he puts the latter higher. In The Feast, Plato emphasizes the general ero-anagogical nature of beauty, comes to an understanding of the idea of beauty, beautiful in itself (τὸ καλόν) (beauty is an object that exists objectively outside of any subject), and outlines some hierarchy of beauty in the process of its comprehension by man – from sensual beauty through spiritual and moral beauty to the beauty of pure knowledge. In the Phaedrus, the beautiful visible world acts as a kind of beacon reminiscent of the soul about the existence of a world of ideas about which it keeps a vague memory and indicating the true path of spiritual perfection. For Aristotle in the physical world, “beauty is in magnitude and order” (Poet 7, 1450b) – a beautiful thing should be easily foreseeable; at an ideal level, is “that, desirable for its own sake, deserves more praise, and that, being good, it is pleasing, because it is good”. First of all, the Stoics τὸ καλόν have an ethical category. However, they also used its aesthetic, as obvious to all, aspect (mostly – τὸ πρεέον) to prove the truth of moral attitudes, which are often difficult or impossible to explain at the conceptual level (compare Kant’s close ideas). The Stoics also put forward universal formulas of beauty, which were also used in medieval culture. The beauty of the mind (soul) for them consists in the “harmony of the teachings and consonance of virtues,” and the beauty of material bodies is in proportion to the parts, color and physical perfection.
The results of the ancient aesthetics were summed up by Plotinus in two special treatises: On the Beautiful (En. I 6) and Mindful Beauty (En V 8). According to his understanding, beauty permeates the whole universe and is an indicator of the optimal beingness of all its components. The higher the level of being, the higher the degree of beauty. “Beautiful, after all, is nothing but flowering on being,” “the color that blooms on being is a beauty.” In the system of his emanation theory, Plotinus developed a harmonious hierarchy of beauty, consisting of three stages. The first and the highest are an intelligible beauty. It “expires” from God – the absolute unity of the good and beauty and its carriers are step by step the Mind and the Soul of the World, which in turn gives rise to the next stage – the beauty comprehended by the soul of man. At this stage are the ideal beauty of nature, the beauty of the human soul and the beauty of virtues, sciences, and the arts. The lower step is occupied by sensually perceived beauty, to which Plotinus attributed the visible beauty of the material world and the beauty of works of art. The transmission (expiration) of beauty from the upper to the lower stages is accomplished through eidos emanating from the Mind and undergoing ever-increasing materialization. The absence of beauty, or ugly, testifies to the exhaustion of being. The essence of art Plotinus saw in the expression in the corresponding material of beauty, i.e. the “inner eidos” of a thing, its ideas. In the Platonic-Neoplatonic tradition, the idea of an anagogic function of beauty was born. Sensual beauty excites in the soul a contemplative longing for divine beauty and points the way to it. In the erotic impulse, the soul rushes to the origins of the beautiful.
The patristic aesthetics, relying on biblical creationism, asserted the original ideal beauty of the created world and man, although to the real sensual beauty of the sinful world (“earthly city”) was dual: on the one hand, it saw indisputable proof of God’s creative activity, on the other hand, A dangerous source of sensual lust, distracting from the search for the spiritual. In Augustine, as in Plotinus, beauty is an indicator of the beingness of things. Beauty can be static and dynamic. Developing the ideas of Cicero, Augustine distinguishes the beautiful in itself and for itself, i.e. beautiful (pulchrum) and beautiful as conformable, proper, appropriate to something (aptum, decorum). Following Plotinus, he builds a Christian hierarchy of beauty. Its source is God, and the supreme bearer of the Logos is Christ. From him, the beauty of the universe (celestial ranks, soul and body of a man, objects and phenomena of the material world) and spiritual beauty (moral, the beauty of sciences and art) take place. Beauty gives pleasure; her contemplation can lead to bliss; it is the object of love and stands above utility and all utilitarian. The beauty of the whole arises from the harmonic unity of the opposite components, in particular, the beautiful and ugly elements. Structural principles of sensually perceived beauty are form, number (rhythm), order, equality, symmetry, proportionality, proportion, agreement, conformity, likeness, balance, contrast and the principle that is the principle of unity. The beauty of man consists in the unity of his spiritual and bodily beauty. The lack of physical beauty does not prevent a person from being involved in higher levels of beauty, including the higher. The main goal of all arts is the creation of beauty.
In the eastern patristic, the greatest attention was paid to the problems of beauty by the Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite, based on Neoplatonic and early Christian ideas. In his understanding, the driving force of the universe is the divine eros, which is aroused by beauty and beauty. Ontologically, he distinguished the three stages of beauty: 1) absolute divine beauty – “One-good-and-beautiful”; true, or essential, the Beautiful, which is “the cause of harmony and brilliance in everything that exists”; 2) the beauty of the ranks of the celestial hierarchy and 3) the beauty of objects and phenomena of the created world. All three levels are united by the presence in them of some non-recursive knowledge of the transcendental Beauty of God – “spiritual beauty”, which is realized at each of the steps in the form of the corresponding “light”. Light in the Areopagite system, as in the medieval aesthetics of Byzantium and Western Europe, is one of the main modifications of beauty. In the system of global symbolic theology, Pseudo-Dionysius of the beautifully created world is a “similar” symbol of divine beauty, and the ugly in some cases act as its “dissimilar” symbol, “an incomparable likeness.”
Aesthetic representations of the Fathers of the Church, the Neoplatonists and, in part, Aristotle and the Stoics formed the basis of the medieval Christian aesthetics and in the understanding of the beautiful. In the works of John Scotus Eriugena, Hugo of Saint Victor, Guillaume of Auvergne, Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Bonaventure, Ulrich of Strasbourg, a multifaceted medieval concept of the beautiful was formed. On the one hand, beauty was understood objectively – as an objectified radiant Glory of God (splendor Dei), expressing itself in the beauty of the material world. On the other hand, the beautiful was determined through the subject-object relationship: it is beautiful that “like it in itself” (Guillaume), gives pleasure in the process of non-utilitarian contemplation. It was claimed that only objects possessing certain objective properties (“proportion and brilliance”, “consonantia et claritas”, ie, the correspondence of parts to the whole, and whole to the purpose of the thing, the expression in the external form of the essence of the thing, the harmony, orderliness, proportionality, good color, the corresponding value). Beauty is interpreted as the radiance (or translucence) of the “form” (idea) of a thing in its material form (Albert the Great). Light aesthetics develops, the anagogic function of the beautiful is established (John Scotus Eriugena and other followers of the Areopagite). Augustine’s supporters pay much attention to the mathematical aspects of beauty and, at the same time, the issues of its perception and enjoyment. Bonaventure introduces the notion of “beauty (form) of Christ” (species Christi), believes the number (the principle of numbering) to be the basis of proportionality, and consequently, of beauty and enjoyment of it. Reasoning about the morally beautiful, he concludes that evil does not promote beauty, but in some cases, its presence, in contrast, can enhance beauty. Nicholas of Cusa, who actively relied on “Areopagite”, summed up the medieval notions. He associated the concept of beauty with three main points: the radiance of form and color and the proportionality of the elements of the corresponding object, the ability of the object to awaken to itself an attraction and love and with the ability to “gather everything together”.
The humanists of the Italian Renaissance placed the beauty of art in the center of aesthetic representations and artistic practice. Developing one of the main principles of ancient art – the idealization that reached its climax in Greek classical sculpture, the Renaissance masters created in the painting and sculpture already in the mainstream of Christian culture a unique and rich world of pictorial and plastic idealized images – a model of a beautiful world that avoided spoiling the fall. Renaissance thinkers were convinced that only in art is the true beauty of the world, the “divine idea of beauty” (idea Divina Della Bellezza – L.B. Albert). She overshadows the artist, and he seeks to embody it in his work, removing all the transitory, superficial, accidental in the process of flashing out the “internal image” (disegno interno). Classicism normativized these ideas and principles, bringing them in theory and practice to a cold academic formalism. Bate (1746) theoretically cemented the conscious orientation of the arts to the creation of beauty by introducing the special name “fine arts” (les beaux arts) for an aesthetically oriented class of arts, the meaning of which is preserved in the new European culture until the 20th century in the term “art”. To mathematicians and artists of the Renaissance, the idea of theoretical justification of the “beautiful form”, the absolute proportion, or the universal beauty module for all arts – the “golden section” (when the whole refers to its greater part, as most to the lesser), goes back to the Renaissance mathematicians and artists.
For the philosophy of the 18th century characterized by a search for a correlation between the objective characteristics of beauty and the subjective reactions to it of the perceiver. Leibniz, in the general context of his philosophical studies, defined beauty as the principle of “perfect correspondence,” on the basis of which God created the world of true being as “harmoniously ordered unity in diversity”. The formula “unity in diversity” (die einigkeit in der vielheit) will become a convenient cliche for centuries to define beauty in school aesthetics. The identification of the beautiful with perfection will also occupy a prominent place in the philosophy of beauty. On it, in particular, based their understanding of the beautiful X. Wolf and his pupil A. Baumgarten, the founder of the science of aesthetics, Bateau, etc. Baumgarten, dividing beauty into natural and artistic, understood it as “perfection of the revealed” (perfectio phaenomenon); for Bathe beautiful – “sensually comprehended perfect”, based on harmony, measure, rhythm, order. The ability to “love the order”, notice, find, approve the beautiful Batoe called innate taste. English artist W. Hogarth (Analysis of Beauty, 1753) sought to reveal the objective laws of beauty – the perfect proportions and the absolute “line of beauty” that he saw in the sinusoid, which subsequently carried away Schiller (treatise “Kallius, or About Beauty”, 1793).
With the advent of the 18th century, Explicit aesthetics (aesthetics as a science) beauty (beauty) is considered as its subject and main category; Aesthetics is often interpreted as the science of beauty, the philosophy of beauty and art, which is understood as a special and optimal expression of the beautiful. Baumgarten defined aesthetics, in particular, as well as the art of “beautiful thinking” (pulchre cogitandi). E. Burke in the “Philosophical study on the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful” (1757) comes to an understanding of the beautiful from the study of the emotional reaction of a person (feelings of pleasure and the corresponding affects), developing in this plan the concept of Shaftesbury, which in the beginning of 18 century explained the beautiful on the basis of subjective aesthetic taste. Beauty Burke understands as “a certain quality of bodies, mechanically acting on the human soul through the medium of external senses” (Burke E. Philosophical study). The main characteristics of beautiful bodies include relatively small sizes, smooth surfaces, inconspicuous deviations from a straight line, bright and bright colors, lightness and elegance, i.e., something that gives a person pleasure.
The anthropological-psychological approach of Burke to the beautiful was inherited by the early Kant (Observations of a sense of the sublime and beautiful, 1764). In the mature period, he abandoned pure psychology and at the same time separated the beautiful from perfection. In the Critique of Judgment (1790), the beautiful appears as a category that characterizes non-utilitarian subject-object relations. Kant associates it with the concept of taste, defined as the contemplative “ability to judge the beautiful”; Thus, his philosophy of beauty, like all aesthetics, is built on the subjective ability to judge taste. Kant identifies four points of the judgment of taste, by which the semantic field of the beautiful forms.
1. Having defined taste as the ability to judge an object or representation “on the basis of pleasure or displeasure free from all interest,” Kant calls the object of such pleasure beautiful (Critique of the Judgment, § 5).
2. “It is wonderful that everyone likes it without the [mediation] of the concept,” for the main thing in the judgment of taste is not the concept, but the inner sense of “harmony in the play of mental forces,” which has a general character (§ 9).
3. “Beauty is the form of the expediency of an object because it is perceived in it without an idea of the purpose” (§ 17). The last antinomical assertion – about expediency without a goal – was realized by subsequent thinkers (from Schiller to Adorno and Derrida) as essential for aesthetics and caused constant discussions.
4. “What is beautiful is that which is known without [mediating] the concept as a matter of necessary pleasure” (§ 22). Beautiful, thus, is a category that characterizes an object to the subject of perception, precisely by the non-utilitarian contemplative taste judgment from a sense of pleasure; in other words, this is something that is spontaneous and necessary for one’s sake. In his interpretation of Augustine’s division of beauty into pulchrum and aptum, Kant reveals two types of beauty: free beauty (pulchritudo vaga), characterized only on the basis of form and pure judgment of taste, and attracting beauty (pulchritudo adhaerens) associated with a specific purpose of the object. Subjects endowed with free beauty should not be “rigidly correct”; they usually contain something that provokes an unconstrained play of imagination. In ethical terms, Kant views the beautiful as “a symbol of morally good” (compare with the aesthetics of the Stoics), and in this foreshortening puts the beauty of nature above the beauty of art: non-utilitarian interest in nature, its beauty testifies, according to Kant, the high moral sense of the beholder. Also, the beautiful “has a higher meaning” than in art, because it has a kind of anagogic function, it guides the soul of the perceiver to the transcendental sphere. In the beauty of nature, a person finds an expression of the intelligible, which he cannot comprehend at the level of ratio.
Following the two types of beauty, Kant shared art on “mechanical” (crafts) and “aesthetic”. He saw the main goal of the latter in a “sense of pleasure” and divided them into two types: pleasant (providing superficial sensual enjoyment in society, oriented to pleasant pastime) and elegant ones – carriers of beauty, developing an incomprehensible culture of interpersonal communications on the basis of “universal communication of pleasures” ( Kant), or “subjective universality of aesthetic taste” (in later interpretation of Gadamer). In this aesthetic pleasure, Kant separated from the “pleasure of pleasure” from sensory perception: this pleasure of a higher level is “pleasure of reflection” (§ 44). The idea of fine arts is their structural organicness, i.e., so free “expediency in the form” when, with a clear understanding by the subject that before his works of art, they would be perceived as products of nature itself. “Nature is beautiful if it is at the same time like art, and art can be called beautiful only if we realize that it is an art and yet it seems to us to be nature “(§ 45). Such art (“fine art” – schöne Kunst) can be produced only by genius, through the innate inclinations of the soul of which “nature gives art the rule” (§ 46).
The subsequent philosophy of beauty was built, as a rule, on more or less talented interpretation, interpretation or simplification of Kant’s ideas about the beautiful. Schiller distinguished beauty “in an idea,” “eternal, one and indivisible,” and beauty “inexperience,” whose ideal lies in the “balance of reality and form,” in harmony with reason and sensuality, duty and attraction; or, in another perspective, in the harmony of “sensory dependence” and “moral freedom.” Beauty as an aesthetic phenomenon Schiller associated with the game of spiritual and spiritual-sensory abilities. He understood the beauty of art as the organic domination of form over content: “in a truly beautiful work of art, everything must depend on form, and nothing on content, for only the form acts on the whole person as a whole, the content is only on separate forces” (Schiller F Articles on aesthetics). Beauty for Schiller, as for Herder, Hegel and some other philosophers up to Heidegger and Gadamer, was a sensual image (or phenomenon) of truth. Schelling defined beauty as the expression of the infinite in the finite and saw in it the main principle of art: “Without beauty, there is no work of art” (“The system of transcendental idealism”, VI 2). At the same time, he meant “beauty, towering over all sensuality” (Philosophy of Art, § 87).
Hegel in “Lectures on Aesthetics” did not pay special attention to the concepts of beauty and beauty, because of considered aesthetics a philosophy of art. Perfect for him is the “sensual phenomenon, the sensual appearance of the idea,” understood as a mediator “between immediate sensuality and idealized thought.” The beautiful “in itself is infinite and free”, it forms the basis of art and finds its most appropriate expression on the classical stage (in the Hegelian triadic classification of the history of the forms of being of art) in ancient art. In contrast to Kant, he values beauty in art as a result of the activity of the human spirit, much higher than natural beauty: “how much the spirit and his works are above nature and its phenomena, so beautiful in art above natural beauty.” A beautiful nature is only a “reflex of beauty belonging to the spirit”, a materially “imperfect, incomplete type of beauty”, on this basis not included by Hegel in the subject of aesthetics. “Artfully beautiful” Hegel reduced to the concept of an ideal, the nature of which saw in “the reduction of external existence to the spiritual when the external phenomenon as a proportion to the spirit becomes its disclosure.” Following Goethe and contemporary theoreticians of art Hegel believed that the criterion of judging the beautiful in art “is the notion of the characteristic (Charakteristischen)”; he first systematically applied the principle of historicity to the understanding of the existence of beauty in art (perfect).
The socio-cultural and artistic-aesthetic situation of the 19th century did not contribute to the fundamental philosophical elaboration of the category of beauty. The main trends in the art of this century (romanticism, realism, naturalism, symbolism) are no longer guided by the expression of beauty and do not create works in the narrow sense of the word “fine art”. These tendencies are revived only for a short time and in the limited cultural space of the refined local forms of decadence, aesthetics, modernity at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. With the Romantics and followers of Hegel, the process of devaluation of the phenomenon and category of beauty begins both in theory and in artistic practice; the word “aesthetics”, “aesthetic”, “aestheticism” is acquired in the environment of socially, democratically, revolutionary oriented artists and critics of the second part 19th century negative shade. Romantics, as opposed to the classics, sought to show the “reverse side” of the beautiful, which seemed to them no less significant than the “facial”, paying much attention to the amazing, fantastically fantastic, sublime, chaotic, ugly. Hegelians X. Vaise, A. Ruge, K. Rosenkrantz (Aesthetics of the ugly, 1853), F.-T. Fischer believed that the ugly must be introduced into aesthetics not only as the antithesis of the beautiful but also as an equivalent and equilibrium concept to it. According to Fischer, “the beautiful is just a certain kind of contemplation (vision).” Nietzsche opens wide the gates to aesthetic relativism, demanding a global revision of all traditional values. He has an ambivalent attitude to beauty. On the one hand, he values her as belonging to an idealized ancient and aristocratic culture, which was destroyed by the poor and “sick” Judeo-Christian rabble. On the other hand, it comprehends beauty as an illusion created by the artist-god and implemented in culture from the Apollonian rationalized principle as the main ordering and transforming principle of the world. Along with him, Nietzsche also requires legitimizing a productive irrational chaosomorphic beginning-the Dionysian (see Apollonian and Dionysian). In fact, this same beginning of culture and art, differently interpreting it and deducing it from other grounds, declare Bergson’s intuitionism with his concept of a “life impulse” and Freudianism, which claimed the priority of the unconscious. Freud himself, criticizing philosophical aesthetics for the unproductiveness of judgments about the nature and origin of beauty, recognized that psychoanalysis could not say anything about it except admitting the obvious fact that beauty and charm “are originally the properties of a sexual object”. Nietzscheanism, intuitionism, Freudianism became the theoretical foundation of the main artistic and aesthetic trends of the 20th century (see Absurd, Avant-garde, Modernism, Postmodernism, Existentialism), in principle and consistently denied the phenomenon, concept and category of beauty.
Along with this central for philosophical aesthetics and artistic practice of the 19-20 centuries a tendency for a number of researchers who belonged to university and academic circles, on the one hand, and religious aesthetic thought, on the other – the category of beauty also occupies a traditionally honorary place during this period, although it does not undergo any significant scientific development. Thus, Schopenhauer, in the system of his volitional-centric philosophy, bases his understanding of the beautiful on the combination of Platonic and Kantian ideas. “Human beauty is an objective expression that signifies the perfect objectification of the will at the highest stage of its cognition, the idea of a man in general, fully expressed in the contemplated form” (“The World as Will and Representation”, I, 3, 45). In this case, the subjective side of the beautiful, emphasizes the philosopher, plays here no less prominent role than the objective. In confirmation of the significance for a human of human beauty, he quotes from Goethe: “Anyone who sees human beauty cannot be touched by anything bad: he feels himself in harmony with himself and with the world.”
Numerous representatives of “formal aesthetics” and art critics who orient themselves on the Neo-Platonist-Hegelian understanding of the beautiful as the optimal expression of the idea were IF Herbart, R. Zimmerman, E. Hanslik, K. Filler, A. Gilderbrand, A. Riegl, G. Wolfflin. In the spirit of some medieval scholastics, they argued that beauty lies only in the formal laws of the organization of the object-in rhythm, proportions, color relationships, the laws of composition, the structural principles of visual and sound forms, and so on. On the contrary, the “psychological aesthetics” (G.T. Fechner, T. Lipps, etc.) emphasized the subjectivity of the beautiful, explaining it following the theory developed by them for “feeling” (Lips, Aesthetic Feeling, 1899) – transferring to the contemplated object experiences of the subject. Lipps “defined beauty” as an object’s correspondence to the nature of an aesthetically evaluating subject. ” Phenomenological aesthetics (R.Ingarden, N.Gartman) considered the beautiful as the main aesthetic value. Much attention was paid to the problem of the beautiful Marxist-Leninist aesthetics, which focused on the social and labor nature of beauty and scholastically affirmed the meaning of aesthetic activity in the transformation of reality “according to the laws of beauty”; beauty was defined as “perfect in its way,” as “correlation with the social ideal,” as the highest aesthetic value; The historical, social, ethnic relativity of the beautiful was proved. Heidegger saw in beauty one of the forms of the “being of truth as unconcealment,” believing the truth to be “the source of artistic creation.” Gadamer, actively relying on Kant’s aesthetics, argued that the “ontological function” of the beautiful is to “bridge the gap across the abyss that separates the ideal and the real”. Finally, Adorno, testifying to the “crisis of beauty” in contemporary art and the science of it, pays much attention to this category in his “Aesthetic theory” (1970) and sees the salvation of “aesthetic from extinction” in reference to a somewhat reinterpreted Kantian understanding in the spirit of the times beautiful.
In the vein of the Christian tradition, religious thinkers of the 20th century highly estimated beauty. – Neo-Thomists and representatives of neo-Orthodox Christianity. In particular, Florensky considered beauty to be the most important component of sacred onto-gnoseology, the phenomenon of human existence on the paths of cognition-love-transubstantiation. “What is true for the subject of knowledge, then for his object there is a love for him, and for the contemplative cognition (cognition by the subject of the object) is beauty” (Pillar and the statement of Truth). One of the main creators of beauty, he considered the Christian ascetics, and asceticism – the art of art, “the art of the arts.” The purpose of this “art” he saw in the “contemplative management” of the highest Beauty – God. The science of “beauty” (φιλοκαλία) leads an ascetic to the transformation of spirit and flesh and the discovery of the pristine beauty of creation in terrestrial life. The subject of the aspirations of the ascetics and their distinctive feature is “the beauty of the spiritual, the dazzling beauty of the radiant, luminous personality, a whitewashed and carnal person inaccessible.”
Modern classical aesthetics considers the beautiful not in isolation, but in the system of its basic categories, including aesthetic, sublime, ugly, tragic, comic, art.