Pleasing harmony of parts

The pleasing harmony of parts is similar to the idea of consonance or unison, in that it is sort of a term used to describe something that is or acts mechanical and are strung together and work well with each other, or organized. In the line of text that it is used, it is used as a potential description of beauty. The sentence goes, “If beauty can be defined as the pleasing harmony of parts”. The author does seem to however use a skeptical tone on this definition as he goes on by saying, “… so that what is beautiful has the character of a mechanical, a superficial integrity-then what is ugly can be described as a disharmonious totality”. The writer also uses examples such as a nose that is too large for a face or teeth that stick out to be disrupters to the harmony and that is what would make something or someone ugly. The idea of perfection in terms of looks is something that most human beings have been obsessed with since the beginning of us all. In a society where everyone is judged by how they look and, mainly targeted towards females, is used to make judgements and determine how you would treat that person as if they deserve to be on another level than anyone else. Beauty being a very superficial thing where the outside of someone matters more than who they truly are. The “pleasing harmony of parts” is used to perhaps make us think about society and how society is run by it.



When one mediates a situation or chain of events, they are overseeing the route to a desired outcome, or inserting themselves into a confrontation such that both sides may be resolved peacefully in agreement. In my elementary school, there was a branch of student government called peer mediators in which designated students were vested with the power to resolve playground squabbles. At first glance, I had understood the word in this definition, but the sentence does not mediate this definition. Keats with an agenda or not, which may not be negative, is pushing his belief of beauty and truth being synonymous and equivalent. The author, Stanley Diamond, however, refutes this statement, believing beauty and truth to be two separate identities that in some cases may overlap, but are not entirely interchangeable; as something can be truly beautiful or beautifully true, the words are used as a mere description of perception. Diamond believes this to be the only use of the words, while Keats recognizes and is ultimately trying to perpetuate an understanding of the far-reaching, true meaning of truth, and its relation to beauty; as when something is a truth, or the truest form, it invokes a type of true beauty not found in the aesthetic opinionated description, for when something is true it is beautiful in its willingness not to deceive, and to nurture the dissemination of its truth as a mediator of its pursuit. Diamond calls the equation of truth to beauty an assimilation. In Diamond’s opinion, any equation is a mediation of this assimilation. This opinion then mediates his agenda of discounting Keats’ “agenda,” so in execution Diamond is guilty of the same mediation he accuses Keats of.


Image from The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language.

My best friend’s voice is ethereal. When she opens her mouth, my heart is lifted as high as the notes she sings. Walking in a garden on a summer morning is ethereal. It is still quiet, no one else is awake, and it is beautiful. The miracles of art and nature, these things are ethereal.

Is Oedipus, the main character from a series of plays by Sophocles, ethereal? Stanley Diamond writes in his article “The Beautiful and Ugly Are One Thing, The Sublime Another that “Sophocles etherealizes him [Oedipus] in a beam of light.”

Before reading Diamond’s article, all I knew about Oedipus was that he killed his father and married his mother. I thought Oedipus was reprehensible, not ethereal.

Is Oedipus quite as bad as I assumed he was?

I learned that Oedipus’s mistakes were due to a difficult and unavoidable situation and he was not wholly to blame for them. Still, I would not describe the incestuous murderer Oedipus as ethereal.

But, there is more to Oedipus’s story than unfortunate scandals. Towards the end of his life, Oedipus, even with his stained record, is accepted by Zeus, the king of the Ancient Greek gods. In this acceptance, Oedipus is released from his earthly problems and honored. He ceases to be cursed and becomes ethereal.

Perhaps, Oedipus is even more ethereal than my best friend’s voice, a garden at sunrise, or the miracles or art and nature could ever be.


Aesthetic Principle

What are aesthetic principles? Who determines this type of thing? We must first begin by defining both words. Aesthetics, by definition, is a set of principles that one uses to determine beauty in a given time and place. According to this definition, aesthetics are already a set of principles. Principles are a set of rules that one uses to determine something. So, in essence, aesthetic principles are rules that are used by people to determine beauty in objects. At the beginning of the paper which was given us, the author quotes Keat’s famous line: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” The author of this paper, Stanley Diamond, disagrees with quote, as do I. Truth is something that is a fact no matter what people say, and something that must be accepted by people whether they like it or not. Using this definition of truth, beauty is not subjective. This is a very bold statement, and one that I find hard to agree with. Keat seems to be stating that aesthetic principle does not exist and beauty is rather concrete. We see in our daily lives that people develop different tastes and interests, which I find to be proof that aesthetic principle DOES exist. People like certain artworks, while I may dislike them, and I may like works of art that they dislike. We are now back to a question earlier. Who determines aesthetic principle? In short, aesthetic principle cannot be defined, only developed by a person as he experiences life in his own way. To me, the freedom to develop one’s own aesthetic principle is a beauty in itself.