Jennifer A. McMahon
University of Adelaide
In this paper I suggest ways in which vision theory and psychology of perception may illuminate our understanding of beauty. I identify beauty as a phenomenon which is (i) ineffable, (ii) subjectively universal (intersubjective), and (iii) manifested in objects as formal structure. I present a model of perception by which I can identify a representation whose underlying principles would explain these features of beauty. The fact that these principles underlie the representation rather than constitute the content of representation, provides an explanation for the ineffability and subjective universality of the perception of beauty in the form of objects. In part one, I set out two models of perception conducive to this approach. In part two, I suggest how such theories can offer a way of explaining and understanding the experience of beauty.
Keywords universal constraints  principles and experience  perception  beauty
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