Another Look at Jared S. Moore’s Comprehensive View of Beauty

Filippo Focosi, Pier Francesco Corvino


According to what is known as the classic theory, beauty can be defined as unity or formal harmony. To overcome some of the criticisms that it encountered, the American philosopher Jared S. Moore proposed, in his paper from 1942, a modernisation of such theory, by distinguishing various types and subtypes of harmony which, taken together, are intended to cover both the objective and the subjective sides of beauty. Our goal is to look closer to some of the main principles that emerge within Moore’s intricate taxonomy of harmony – most notably, the principles of organic unity, fittingness, and empathy – which in his article are only sketched or implicitly suggested. Employing such supplementations, we hope to make J.S. Moore’s comprehensive view of beauty even more complete from a theoretical standpoint and suitable to face the challenge posed by the modernist and postmodern artistic practices, which seemingly undermined the notions of beauty and formal harmony.


Beauty; Form; Harmony; Unity; Empathy

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ESPES. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia. Registration number of the journal in the Register of Periodical Publications of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic: EV173/23/EPP.

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