The Arts

The arts are something we enjoy as they can be entertaining for instance, in a dance or theatre performance. But the difference between the arts and other areas of knowledge is that art is based on opinion or personal “taste”. In Paul Graham’s article Taste for Makers, Graham goes in depth as to how the ideas surrounding the arts can be used in other areas of knowledge such as mathematics.

The concept of something being aesthetically beautiful is well known in the art world but we usually do not connect it to other areas of knowledge like mathematics or science. In Graham’s article he explains how the word “beautiful” is used in many different areas and yet we do not typically connect those areas,

Mathematicians call good work “beautiful,” and so, either now or in the past, have scientists, engineers, musicians, architects, designers, writers, and painters. Is it just a coincidence that they used the same word, or is there some overlap in what they meant? If there is an overlap, can we use one field’s discoveries about beauty to help
us in another?

This quotation from Graham raises the important question of whether the discoveries and concepts created in other areas of knowledge can be applicable in other instances. This is important to think about because we do not typically think about the importance of aesthetic beauty in objects and things we make. When we look at a flower vase that we think is beautiful we don’t ask ourselves why. Why do I think this is beautiful? What draws me to it? How does something be considered to be beautiful? These are all questions of substance in this case that we are not yet asking ourselves unless you are some sort of art critic.

The most important thing to understand about all of this is art is not meant to be understood by every individual. Not every individual thinks the same way so therefore we cannot possibly all like the colour chartreuse. There is no definite answer as to how you can label something as “beautiful” because it simply is subjective. Although Graham’s article brings up many important arguments, my stance on the arts still stands the same.

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