Does the world deserve beauty? In “beauty and politics,” Arthur Danto appreciates and demonstrates that, beauty is scarce in the recent art. Danto seeks to explain human beings attitude regarding beauty and how it can be used appropriately.
With reference to Kant, Danto suggests that beauty is a sort of universal phenomena that is part of the human experience especially if presented in a good manner.
Danto examines the work of Georg Hegel and concludes that beauty is actually appropriate especially when celebrating the loss of life for it reminds the bereaved of that pain as part of human experience.
This paper will focus on summarizing Danto’s question “does the world deserve beauty” with reference to Georg Hegel’s position and how my mother’s absence in my life can be connected to Danto’s or Hegel’s insights.
In this article, Danto observes that in the past people would bathe on a Saturday night so that they could be clean during the Sabbath. On Sunday morning, they would adorn special clothing to symbolize the moral difference existing between the outside and the inside.
This action metaphorically gives the difference between the hardship human beings experience during their lifetime and the heavenly kingdom that they await. Danto quotes Adam Verver who does not believe in taking responsibility for the world that has brought him great opulence in his life.
He goes on to observe that “life is a punishment and beauty is for the life to come if we do our duty here on earth” (Danto 116). The argument is that, being philosophical on matters of religion and worldly beauty could be termed as breach on morality.
To demonstrate the breach of morality in such situations, Danto goes on to exemplify with sexual discrimination against women and the poor doing nothing about the homeless.
Danto concludes that, if philosophy was to be linked with beauty then the argument on “moral appropriateness of beauty” will be quite clear (Danto 116).
Hegel connects philosophy and art terming these two as “Absolute Spirit.” Hegel talks about the spirit and self-knowledge and artistic beauty as a product of these two. At the same time, Hegel observes that natural beauty does not come from the spirit.
Considering the absence of my mother in my life, I can connect with Danto’s assumption that “it is as though beauty were a kind of catalyst, transforming raw grief into tranquil sadness” (Danto 117).
Following Danto’s observation about appropriate beauty, I can confirm that beauty does influence the healing of an individual when they have lost their loved ones. In the political front, beauty is a matter of moral appropriateness and in such a case it is wrong.
The reason why beauty influences the healing after the loss of my mother emanates from artwork or rather internal beauty. Beauty is connected to our human nature especially our mood.
Losing a loved one affects a human being emotionally and psychologically thus worldly beauty found in artwork can help in the healing process. From this perspective, it is a fact that the world does deserve beauty to help in the healing process.
Even though Hegel does recognize the sense of individuality and the love for our loved ones, he does not recognize beauty as part of the healing process when death comes knocking. Hegel agrees with Kant on the issue that beauty is universal and gives human beings experience if presented in a good way.
Beauty is significant as well as vital in our lives and that is why time and resources are put in the preservation of beauty. Some philosophers like Hegel have argued that beauty does not play an important role in the human life terming it as vague.
In conclusion, the world does deserve beauty for it soothes and through art a harmonious and beautiful universe is created. Beauty is not useless or unreliable as some people would say.
Through beauty, I have learned to celebrate my mother’s life rather than mourn. I concur with Danto’s insights regarding beauty and the conclusion that the world deserves it to keep the human race joyous and alive.
Danto, Arthur C. The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art. Chicago, Ill.u.a.: Open Court, 2003. Print.