Beauty stands along truth and goodness in the trilogy of Value Theory—the study of how, why, and to what degree humans find worth. Worth begets significance. And significance breathes meaning into life.
Above is Old Montreal. The lights, textures, materials—if the devil lies in the details, he or she sleeps blissfully here.
Whether most in this lush urban locale pay credence to the consequence of design due to an instinctual call to action, or because the bar has simply been raised around them, does not change the impression it makes. It's a good outcome no matter the source.
ˈbyü-tē defined: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
Kant spoke to the notion of enjoyment as the result of pleasure arising from sensation. But for something to additionally be beautiful it must set a reflective contemplation into motion. Beauty, then, is the convergence of perception, emotion, and musing.
Beauty is the only value virtue allowed a wide latitude of subjectivity. We generally recognize someone else’s notion of beauty even if in contrast to our own. Often, it’s this conflicting aesthetic that shakes up our day for the better. This is at the root of why we travel.
When we stop counting beauty and intrigue among the necessities of life we accept a complacency unbecoming to those of us born from the odds of 1 in 400 trillion.
Those of us who flock to the shore, a high point at sunset, or to a place such as Old Montreal, understand the intrinsic importance and power of beauty. It is the great majority of mankind that seeks significance, even if unaware. We want to make sense of our jackpot existence and to feel, not just be, quite alive.