The Secret Power of Beauty

Author(s): John Armstrong


The notion of beauty is elusive: we love the things we find beautiful, and yet we are inarticulate when we try to communicate this love, or describe its essence. We are aware of people, paintings and houses that are universally recognized as beautiful, and yet we know also that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. In defining beauty and our response to it, we are often caught between the concrete and the sublime. We wish to categorize beauty, to clearly label its parts, and yet we wish also to celebrate its mysterious - and at times mythical - power. Armstrong's response is a discursive and graceful journey through various and complementary interpretations, leading us from Hogarth's belief that the essence of beauty lies in shapely curves, to Kant's discourses on the meaning of pleasure. In this lucid and lyrical exploration John Armstrong aims to deepen our response both to beauty and to happiness. As he shows, the ability to truly recognise the beauty that surrounds us in the everyday could enable us to deepen the enjoyment of our lives.


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Product Information

John Armstrong was born in Glasgow in 1966. Previously a research fellow and director of the Aesthetics Programme at the University of London, he is currently a research fellow in the philosophy of art at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is author of The Intimate Philosophy of Art and The Conditions of Love, both published by Penguin.

General Fields

  • : 9780140294729
  • : pengui
  • : pengui
  • : 0.182
  • : December 2004
  • : 196mm X 128mm X 15mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Armstrong
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 111.85
  • : 192
  • : Illustrations