Beauty and the Sublime

Is Sedona beautiful, sublime, or both? Some philosophers say it cannot be both. Photo credit: Daniel Weinand (CC).

The Grand Canyon: the very definition of sublime--something that we cannot take in entirely with one view, and so it appears to us as if it could be infinite. Photo credit: Matthew Goodwin (CC)

What makes great art, worthy to be saved and protected in the museum, compared to something merely pretty with which we like to decorate our walls? Photo credit: Dustin Gaffke (CC)

Are historical artifacts, objects made for a utilitarian purpose, capable of being beautiful and worthy of being alongside other artistic treasures? Photo credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis (CC)

We are attracted to beauty. Our considerations of beauty and the sublime are almost always outwardly directed—at objects. Breathtaking landscapes, moving works of art, and even the human form can attract and captivates us. The sublime takes us a step further, beyond the beautiful to the almost surreal. Beauty and the sublime may also be discovered in interior ways—inside ourselves and other people. Join us to explore the beautiful and the sublime—in the world, and in yourself.

“Tall oaks and lonely shadows in a sacred grove are sublime; flower beds, low hedges and trees trimmed in figures are beautiful. Night is sublime, day is beautiful.” – Immanual Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime

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