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This is the essence of beauty--the possession of a quality which excites the human organism to functioning harmonious with its own nature.

ETHEL PUFFER HOWES, The Psychology of Beauty

The Nature of Beauty is in the relation of means to an end; the means, the possibilities of stimulation in the motor, visual, auditory, and purely ideal fields; the end, a moment of perfection, of self-complete unity of experience, of favourable stimulation with repose. Beauty is not perfection; but the beauty of an object lies in its permanent possibility of creating the perfect moment. The experience of this moment, the union of stimulation and repose, constitutes the unique aesthetic emotion.

ETHEL PUFFER HOWES, The Psychology of Beauty

The idea of Beauty has been greatly widened since the age of Plato. Then, it was only in order, proportion, unity in variety, that beauty was admitted to consist; today we hold that the moderns have caught a profounder beauty, the beauty of meanings, and we make it matter for rejoicing that nothing is too small, too strange, or too ugly to enter, through its power of suggestion, the realm of the aesthetically valuable; and that the definition of beauty should have been extended to include, under the name of Romantic, Symbolic, Expressive, or Ideal Beauty, all of the elements of aesthetic experience, all that emotionally stirs us in representation.

ETHEL PUFFER HOWES, The Psychology of Beauty


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