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Functional Beauty$
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Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205240.001.0001

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Functional Beauty in the Aesthetic Tradition

Functional Beauty in the Aesthetic Tradition

(p.1) 1 Functional Beauty in the Aesthetic Tradition
Functional Beauty

Glenn Parsons (Contributor Webpage)

Allen Carlson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a tradition, now obscured, that of associated aesthetic pleasure with functionality and related concepts, such as utility. The aim in describing this tradition and some aspects of its evolution is to exhume some central conceptual clarifications and philosophical criticisms that pertain to the idea called ‘Functional Beauty’ which will play a role in the arguments later in the book. Topics covered include beauty as fitness in classical thought, beauty and function in the 17th and 18th centuries, increasing criticism of the theory of beauty as fitness in the 18th century, and the autonomy of art.

Keywords:   beauty, functionality, fitness, aesthetic pleasure, art

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