Friday, March 04, 2016

Beauty and Sweetness

The sense of beauty may be analysed in a manner very similar to the sense of sweetness. It is an agreeable feeling or emotion, accompanied with an opinion or judgment of some excellence in the object, which is fitted by Nature to produce that feeling.

The feeling is, no doubt, in the mind, and so also is the judgment we form of the object: But this judgment, like all others, must be true or false. If it be a true judgment, there is some real excellence in the object. And the use of all languages shows, that the name of beauty belongs to this excellence of the object, and not to the feelings of the spectator.

Thomas Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Essay VIII, Chapter 4.

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