Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference. In this Very Short Introduction the renowned philosopher Roger Scruton explores the concept of beauty, asking what makes an object - either in art, in nature, or the human form - beautiful, and examining how we can compare differing judgements of beauty when it is evident all around us that our tastes vary so widely. Is there a right judgement to be made about beauty? Is it right to say there is more beauty in a classical temple than a concrete office block, more in a Rembrandt than in last year's Turner Prize winner? Forthright and thought-provoking, and as accessible as it is intellectually rigorous, this introduction to the philosophy of beauty draws conclusions that some may find controversial, but, as Scruton shows, help us to find greater sense of meaning in the beautiful objects that fill our lives. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Preface; 1. Judging beauty; 2. Human beauty; 3. Natural beauty; 4. Everyday beauty; 5. Artistic beauty; 6. Taste and order; 7. Art and Eros; 8. The flight from beauty; 9. Concluding thoughts; Notes and Further Reading
Reviews for Beauty: A Very Short Introduction
Review from previous edition As always with Scruton, his prose is exquisite and wonderfully clear, which fact together with the illustrations make his book a thing of beauty itself. A. C. Grayling, The Art Newspaper Careful and absorbing. A. C. Grayling, The Art Newspaper This is a fascinating and thought-provoking little book. A. C. Grayling, The Art Newspaper Roger Scruton has moments of great insight and clarity in this attractively slim volume. Sebastian Smee, The Observer A fascinating book, which I heartily recommend. Bryan Wilson, Readers Digest Short, fast paced, and wide ranging. Michael Tanner, Literary Review