Universalist and Particularist Discourses on the Intersection of Reality, Truth and Beauty
Lähdesmäki, T. (2016). Universalist and Particularist Discourses on the Intersection of Reality, Truth and Beauty. In T. Lähdesmäki, & B. R. Sherringham (Eds.), Philosophies of Beauty on the Move (pp. 3-32). Inter-Disciplinary Press. Critical Issues.
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The history of the Western civilisation can be seen as a continuum of epistemological battles and alliances between two modes of grasping and describing the world. According to these conflicting views, the world has been grasped either through particular or universal explanations. These two views have formed a dualistic scholarly context which has directed philosophers, artists, and scientists to discuss whether the world and its diverse phenomena can be perceived and explained through the universal laws of mathematics and science or rather as culture-bound narrations and symbols; whether the world is best represented using the language of mathematical formulas and equations or that of the arts. The conflicting views of perceiving and explaining the world can be determined as two epistemes between which various issues, such as the nature of knowledge and the notions of reality, truth, and beauty, are intertwined and in which they are differently comprehended. Despite their differences, the epistemes share a common conceptual realm; some of the terms, words, and concepts are used in both. This common realm stems from the vocabulary of aesthetics. Mathematicians and scientists often refer to the aesthetic qualities of geometry, mathematical formulas, and scientific theories using the terms and expressions artists and art critics employ when they evaluate artistic objects and visuality. The concept of beauty is discussed in both epistemes but in a different sense. Based on a literature review, the chapter discusses how the notions of reality, truth, and beauty are intertwined in these two epistemes; how the notions are argued for and justified. ...
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