Sunday, January 10, 2016

The true and beautiful are simple, restrained and proportioned

I have an intuition, more like an instinct, that the true and beautiful are simple, in both philosophy and art. Complexity often means being unclear about truth and beauty. But paradoxically to simplify seems to mean carefully detailing the true and the beautiful, which usually means eliminating superfluous or showy details.

Looking beyond my own instincts about the true and the beautiful, this relates to the “classical” ideal preferring simplicity, restraint and proportion, which has had universal validity over time.

Much of modern philosophy, art, and poetry is full of showy complexity and is often not even concerned with truth, meaning, or beauty. Postmodernism usually claims that this is because the truth is complex, unclear, relative, and not simple, restrained or proportioned. But my instinct tells me that if a thing is unclear or not understood, not simple, it is usually not the truth, and not beautiful.

Evolutionary realism, the term I have been using in art philosophy, follows this instinct or intuition toward simplicity, restraint and proportion. This might also be applied to guiding the future material evolution of life toward supermaterial Godhood. Godhood is seen as the zenith of beauty, truth and goodness, and applying this definition Godhood would contain the zenith of simplicity, restraint and proportion.

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