How do we as people judge what is beautiful?There are no set rules or standards as to what can be called beautiful, so who determines this?Are things just meant to be left in the eye of the beholder?If this is so, and someone else sees this same object as unappealing, then which opinion is to be concluded?
In the book Puzzles About Art: An Aesthetics Casebook, there is a case that exemplifies these queries.The case, called The Remains of the Incan Palace on page 30, tells the story of 4 friends hiking through the remote mountainous regions of Peru.The 4 hikers come across an ancient Incan palace, lavishly decorated with gold and jade ornaments and intricate carvings.The 4 hikers then express their opinions, each one different from the others:
Thefirst observer merely states, "Beautiful, simply beautiful!"
The second observer acknowledges it as a wonderful discovery, but states, "It's one of those ancient extravagances that were designed simply to be stared at; it lacks the warmth and functional humanity that makes things beautiful."
The third observer states that since he only cares about bars and restaurants, the discovery does nothing for him.
The fourth observer says that it is wonderful, grand, and magnificent, but "knowing that it was built with the sweat, pain, and broken lives of slaves for the glorification of a ruling elite, I just cannot find it beautiful."
If 4 people come across an object at the same time, and all 4 see this object differently, what is the real truth of the object?
Thefirst observer purely says that the Incan palace is beautiful.I feel that this is the most important statement that can be made about any finding or piece of artwork.By the observer stating thefirst thing that came to his or her mind, that expression shows the true feeling that the artwork gave.If a people are given time they often over analyze what they have se…