more from G.E. Moore

Single Idea 21233

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty]

Full Idea

The beautiful should be defined as that of which the admiring contemplation is good in itself.

Gist of Idea

The beautiful is whatever it is intrinsically good to admire


G.E. Moore (Principia Ethica [1903], p.210), quoted by Graham Farmelo - The Strangest Man

Book Reference

Farmelo,Graham: 'The Strangest Man [Paul Dirac]' [Faber 2009], p.74

A Reaction

To work, this definition must exclude anything else which it is intrinsically good to admire. Good deeds obviously qualify for that, so good deeds must be intrinsically beautiful (which would be agreed by ancient Greeks). We can't ask WHY it is good!