Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Beauty in nature is a general theme in modern life and in art, and books emphasizing beauty in nature fill large sections of libraries and bookstores. That nature has been depicted and famous by so much art, photography, poetry and other literature shows the strength with which many people associate nature and beauty. Why this association exists, and what the association consists of, is studied by the branch of philosophy called aesthetics. Beyond certain basic characteristics that many philosophers agree about to explain what is seen as beautiful, the opinions are almost endless.Many scientists, who study nature in more specific and organized ways, also share the conviction that nature is beautiful; the French mathematician, Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) said:
The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth meaningful, life would not be worth living. Of course I do not here speak of that beauty which strikes the senses, the beauty of character and of appearance; not that I undervalue such beauty, far from it, but it has not anything to do with science; I mean that profounder beauty which comes from the harmonious order of the parts and which a pure intelligence can grasp.
A general classical idea of beautiful art involves the word mimesis, the imitation of nature. Also in the realm of ideas about beauty in nature is that the perfect is indirect through symmetry, equal division, and other perfect mathematical forms and notions.


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