marți, 7 februarie 2012

Variation on the Platonic Beauty

For living in a beautiful way, kalon, as Greeks said, the normative ethics or the utilitarian calculations do not make sense.

Because none of them, the pure norm and the calculation, do not produce beauty. A life guided by laws was expelled by the first Christians on the reason of not living room for a more beautiful feeling as love, the calculation of utility hardly could be judged apart from the ugliness of an egoistical measure of things.

The beauty in one’s behavior requires him to be connected to beautiful things in a gentle way.

And, from the love story between Socrates and Alcibiades, we learn that such gentleness is not the weakness of a sentimental experience, but the following of the tenderness derived from the attachment to the Beauty as a Form. Excluding Plato’s metaphysical view, we might concede that a beautiful way of life presupposes the perpetual conscience that the beauty lays out in our proximity, not being caused by us and not depending on some particular beautiful things.

The only duty of a man would be to prepare such proximity. It is a proximity to yourself, not the social neighborhood. Again from Plato, we find that the preparation takes a form that is by itself different from the precise following of beautiful things, namely, the continual exercise of knowledge.

Such exercise of understanding also appears in the permanent contact with beautiful things that need to be understood. The so called esthetical experiences can become acts of understanding, when they give birth to a practice or to a way of life.

By thought or by art, a beautiful life is one that evicts the intricacies of social life. A good and beautiful life would mean that one takes only what is beautiful in others, even if the others are diminished to their independent features, omitting those that interrelate them in human affairs. We also have to notice that Greeks used kalon for expressing goodness, too.