Philosophy

The 10 Best Philosophy Quotes On Beauty, Simplified

In a few sentences

Brad
4 min readSep 29, 2021

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

The philosophy of beauty, or aesthetics, is a really unique segment of thought. It’s often hard to describe, even for philosophers. But because it’s hard to explain, it often leads to the most beautiful paradoxes and complex ideas.

I am going to take 10 of the best philosophy quotes on beauty and break them down in a few sentences.

1. “There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Existentialist thinker

For Nietzsche, beauty is something that overtakes the senses on the surface of subjectivity, and doesn’t involve thinking. When beauty enters the depths of human thought, language is destined to try describing and explaining it, thus limiting and degrading it.

2. “At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman”

-Albert Camus, Existentialist thinker

Beauty is beyond human understanding, it is unknowable. But that’s why we are desperate to experience it. The human experience is driven to understand itself by interacting with what is beyond it.

3. “Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaining it.”

-Georges Bataille, Metaphysician of Evil

Beauty is created when something beautiful is destroyed. We see the value of what was beautiful after its death.

4. “Everything is beautiful only so long as it does not concern us.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer, Metaphysics

Similar to Nietzsche, the moment human subjectivity becomes involved in beauty, it is no longer is available to understand. Understanding beauty is surrendering to the notion that you cannot know it.

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