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Cafe Philosophique: What is beauty?

January 30 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

What is beauty?

Join us for a lively evening discussion. No knowledge of philosophy required; just a willingness to ask questions and have an open mind. To reserve a place at our next cafe email Matt (matt@topspinwebdesign.co.uk) or phone 07726 303517 / 01905 767426. Cost is £10, which includes a 2-course meal. Pay on the day.

You can also register on Eventbrite.

What is beauty?

Wabi-sabi is an ancient Japanese philosophy with roots in Zen, revering austerity, nature and the everyday.
Elizabeth Gordon once wrote, “If you can’t find beauty – for free – when you are poor, you won’t be likely to have it when you are rich … even though you may have bought and paid for it.”
Gordon often railed against conspicuous beauty, which was rife in the prosperous 1950s. “When a thing is self-consciously made to be beautiful (as though beauty was the total aim) it never seems to work, and it becomes futile and knick-knacky,” she wrote. “There has to be some purpose and usefulness about the creating.”

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty” – That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know. Keats.
If there is nothing beyond the material, then beauty can be nothing more than the subjective perception of human individuals.
To the traditional philosophy beauty is not a mere human feeling. Feeling is simply a reaction to beauty. Beauty exists before we feel it and independently of whether we feel it or not.

“All art is absolutely useless.” Oscar Wilde.
Art is not utilitarian. It has no use.
Beauty may also be viewed as a substitute for religion, for the sacred.

Kant: One interesting aspect of aesthetic judgements was their universalizability, the idea that if I think something is beautiful, in itself, then I believe that other people should agree with me, or if not have a good reason why they disagree. Even though the aesthetic judgement is subjective, we believe that it is also universal. This is the same as moral judgements; if I think something is morally wrong, I believe that others should agree.

Find out more by coming along to our cafe.


January 30
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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Matthew Jenkins
01905767426 / 07726303517


The Fold Cafe
The Fold
Bransford, Worcestershire WR6 5JB United Kingdom
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01886 833633