The Soul of Beauty: A Psychological Investigation of Appearance

Predný obal
Bucknell University Press, 1992 - 176 strán (strany)
The problem explored in The Soul of Beauty is the split in modern consciousness between the world of perception and appearance on the one hand, and the world of action and meaning on the other. We see in one way and find truth in another. The work presents this dualism as a problem in the modern sense of beauty. The intent of the book is the recovery of beauty as that which brings together such contemporary splits as perception and action, appearance and meaning, matter and spirit, subject and object.
Beauty is imaged in two paradigms. The first presents beauty as a matter of appearance which holds meaning - beauty as truth. The second holds that beauty is subjective experience, which in its modern sense is divorced from knowledge and practical action - beauty as relative experience. The paradigms are formed through an imaginative and historical exploration of the tradition of beauty in Western consciousness.
The prototype of the first paradigm - beauty as appearance - is seen in the goddess Aphrodite, who reflects the Greek sense of divinity in form itself. This paradigm is then founded upon the tradition of Plato in the Phaedrus and the Symposium, Plotinus, Dionysius, and Ficino. The major elements of this paradigm are depicted in beauty as: (1) source in a hierarchical universe, (2) universal mediator, (3) object of love, (4) human perception, (5) human knowledge, (6) light, and (7) unity, goodness, and being. The suggestion is made that the paradigm of beauty as appearance is relevant for psychology as a study of soul because it brings together perception and meaning.
The paradigm of beauty as a subjective experience focuses historically upon beauty as a spiritual, conceptual (proportion), methodological (linear perspective), and subjective phenomenon. In the tradition of proportion and subjectivism, knowledge is gained through perception that occurs via an organizing system, such as mathematics, or a concept, such as proportion, rather than through the direct perception of appearance. Meaning is separated from perception, and the organizing system or concept, not appearance, becomes the ground of knowledge. It is suggested that this paradigm, reflected in scientific and conceptual psychology, is problematic for psychology as a study of soul. Instead, psychology conducts its endeavors in the service of identification with the divine, control over the physical world, and certainty of consciousness.
The final portion of the work examines the recovery of beauty as appearance in contemporary psychology through the notion of "image" in Jung's later thought and the phenomenon of psychotherapy. The work concludes with a presentation of psychology as an aesthetic enterprise bringing together meaning and appearance, spirit and matter, art and science, subject and object.
 

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Obsah

1 Aphrodite
37
Beauty as Light
44
Aphrodite Refused
71
Proportion Beauty as Measure
83
Linear Perspective
90
The Subjectivization of Beauty
101
Image in Depth Psychology
119
Beauty and Psychotherapy
134
Toward a Psychology of Appearance
145
Notes
149
Bibliography
165
Name Index
173
Subject Index
175
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