Re: The ASSA leads to a unique utilitarism

From: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2007 07:18:04 -0000

On Oct 3, 12:23 pm, Russell Standish <> wrote:
> I think that beauty is effectively a channel from our
> unconscious. When we think that something is beautiful (or conversely
> ugly), some unconscious processing has taken place according to some
> criterion and presented to the conscious mind on a scale of ugly to
> beautiful representing how desirable that thing is for the task at
> hand.
> Beauty often goes together with simplicity, or with symmetry, as these
> are very useful concepts evolutionary (finding a genetically superior
> mate - see literature on the effect of parasites; finding effective
> theories of the world - simpler is indeed better for various reasons).
> Cheers

The specific things we find beautiful come from our evolutionary
history, but that doesn't mean that there aren't objective 'platonic
archetypes' . Our conscious experience of beauty is a communication
between a mind and a thing. The thing is a *pointer* (reference) to
an objective platonic form. Any number of things could potentially
play the role of the pointer. The specific thing that triggers a
conscious experience of 'beauty' is contingent on our evolutionary
history, but the aeathetic value is not in the thing itself, but the
platonic archetype it points to.

Consciousness is the communication system of the mind and thus the
entire sentient experience is based on signs and symbols
(representations of things). Signs and Symbols are the true language
of reflection and human experience - humans are the symbol using
animals. Everything traces back to signs and symbols and thus all
assessments of value ultimately trace back to assessments about the
aesthetics of signs and symbols. The study of signs and symbols is
known as semiotics and the American philosopher Charles Peirce was its
champion. Peirce almost grasped 'the secret' so very long ago ;)

Signs and symbols control the world, not phrases and laws.
~ Confucius (b 551 BCE), Chinese thinker, social philosopher

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Received on Thu Oct 04 2007 - 03:18:21 PDT

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