Hysteria's Shortform

by Hysteria8th Jan 20203 comments
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I'm still mulling over the importance of Aesthetics. Raemon's writing really set me on a path I should've explored much much earlier.

And since all good paths come with their fair share of coincidences, I found this essay to also mull over.


Perhaps we can think of Aesthetics as the grouping of desires and things we find beautiful(and thus we desire and work towards), in a spiritual/emotional/inner sense?

Why limit it to a spiritual/emotional/inner realm? Except to the extent that all values are (a perfectly reasonable belief, IMO).

Are aesthetic preferences any different from other desiderata? If I don't like people's suffering, is that not an aesthetic choice? What choices and terminal values would you call NOT aesthetic?

I prefer to think of Aesthetic as a less rational, more monkey-brain part of us. A lot of the things we find beautiful come from basic instincts of what is good/bad for our survival and reproduction. Healthy food, safe places, good partners, etc.

I would rationalize that finding suffering ugly is in a similar vein as finding skin boils ugly; they're indicators of diseases, unsafe land, unsafe conditions, bad things et al.

Going with the "people's suffering" take, perhaps wanting to act on immediate, in-your-eyes suffering is an aesthetic choice/preference, but making a (shut up and multiply) decision wouldn't be aesthetic, but fully rational? Our monkey-brains can't quite grasp the people's suffering continents away from us, or imagine the actual amount of people suffering, so wanting to act on that as a whole wouldn't touch on our direct aesthetics, but in conscious, controlled rational thoughts.