Can beauty be objective? (This can be applied to ethics, as well)
First, it’s important to note possibility versus probability. Logically, anything unquantifiable is possible, but this does not denote its probability. Said variable can only be established as probable through examination and testing.
If the question were to interchange “can” with the word “is,” then probability would be the potentiality in question. Whereas, the use of “can” is a general inquiry. Thus, the answer to this question is – yes.
This concludes lesson one in this discussion.
Secondly, “objectivity” is often mistaken for an absolutist ideal. In contrast, it is based on a cumulative subjectivity. This compromises the objective sentiment, entirely. Scientific study is centered on confirmed observation(s). Any proposed system of how discoveries synthesize is subject to change. Acting as an “objective” observer simply implies that one acts without bias to the best of his/her ability.
Across history, there are a plethora of accounts where observations were incorrect, but were entered into widespread objectivity. My two favorite accounts of this are the “Flat Earth” and “Geocentric Theory” incidents. A good question for any critical thinker to ask at this point would be – “How do I know that the Earth is not flat, nor does it exist in a geocentric system.” In all reality, unless you’ve traveled to a point in the cosmos where you can see a round earth for yourself, or accurately verified the relationship of the planets with the sun – you cannot. At this point, you must appeal to authority for any ‘objective’ statement.
Problem? It may be difficult to see, so I will spell it out for you. In appealing to authority, one acts with bias. At this point a bias concerning said authority is developed, and sentimental judgment is employed. This tends to be problematic, as, bias is in direct violation of objectivity.
This concludes lesson two.
Lesson Three – Conclusion: In light of lesson two, we are to conclude that “objectivity” is ultimately a cumulative “subjectivity.” This is still correctly held over personal subjectivity as meeting any prerequisites of attaining certainty, yet should not be mistaken for having attained it. This would present the conflict of bias, as well. This is the veritable stumbling block that holds scientific endeavor away from progress. Highly achieved scientific professionals understand this. Any ‘fact’ must consistently slave to the whip of scrutiny in order to follow the general direction the ideal of objectivity travels in.
This concludes lesson three.
Lesson Four: As for reaching an objective notion of Beauty? Like ethics, beauty is contingent upon intrinsic identity. However, as with ethics, it can be agreed upon within societies and perpetuated by cultural paradigms. And, yes, as with ethical sentiments, it shows universal consistencies. Some aspects of nature can be objectively verified as far as objectivity is enabled to encompass. The best example, according to my understanding, personal observation, and the authorities I am forced to appeal to – is sexual attraction. This type of beauty recognition is universal with the exemption of homosexuality minority and a few cases of unmoved abstinence (and, I won‘t mention other anomalies, lol). Inherent constants emerge as stimulus provoked by symmetry, health/genetic evaluation (which, symmetry recognition also serves), hormonal agendas, and pheromones…to name a few. There are environmental, general arts, and, yes – even mathematical arguments for beauty recognition, as well. Another factor to address is cultural and societal bias. Can you identify it in yourself?
Lesson four: Concluded
There is much, much, more information and philosophical arguments (including a few interesting current discoveries) on the topic, as well. However – I didn’t promise a book! Google is your friend! Haha…