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The Aesthetic Experience

By:   •  Research Paper  •  779 Words  •  March 30, 2010  •  838 Views

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The Aesthetic Experience

There is beauty surrounding us in our everyday world from the environment in which we inhabit and the sonic wallpaper of nature we hear everyday to even the body and mind of our human spirit. That is what makes us human, the understanding, desire, and acknowledgment of beauty which sets us apart from the other creatures of the earth. Unlike some creatures, such as birds and their nests and reptiles with their flashy colored bodies, we see beauty in more ways than for the purpose of procreation. Beauty, according to the Christian Science Monitor, is the substance of life, of thought expressed. It also referred as being necessary for functionality, for life and not just for mere adornment. Definitions of beauty differ from person to person and those definitions can be more characterized as aesthetics.

Aesthetics is known one way as the outward experience of how something looks, and how pleasing it is. This pleasing feeling of how something may look is the psychological responses to beauty and artistic expressions. A word that can be used as a noun, verb or adjective is a philosophy to some. The philosophical view of aesthetics is to study beauty and its aesthetic values. It also deals with the nature and expression of beauty as in the fine arts and the laws of perception. People apply the term aesthetics to validate what is artistic or beautiful and the way this is applied is determined by the societal influences on people of what is beauty in their culture. Society many times sets this principle, a set of principles, or a view of aesthetics that is manifested by outward appearances and is applied towards taste and artistic sensibility.

There is also the aesthetic experience. It is described by Nelson, in his reference to musical aesthetics, that it “serves not utilitarian purpose but is valued for its enjoyment, satisfaction, and insight.” He relates this also to the human capacity to aspire for more out of life than mere survival. That aspiration is what sets us apart from any other known creature. Nelson goes on to state the aesthetic experience involves feelings, intellect, requires focus, and must be experienced firsthand. One can not receive the experience of beauty by hearing an account of it from another, oh we can imagine what that experience may feel like and the image of beauty which is being described, but as in the case of music and dance, we need to be there and feel it as it happens. This experience results in a richer more meaningful life and that the opposite of aesthetic is anesthetic, which means insensitive, void of feeling, empty. People aspire for more out of life than simple existence. (Nelson)

Certain students in our class exhibit some of these certain aesthetic quality of beauty. One couple is Kenny and Becky. There is an essence between them that makes which ever dance that they are doing an aesthetically beautiful dance. Both have good form and timing which is very pleasing to the eye. Another couple, who I believe have very good aesthetic qualities when they dance, is Anna and her brother Anthony. Anna’s

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