It is shit like this that makes me, a fan of science, want to smash every fucking machine I see and go live in a cave.
What, exactly, smashes me so?
Not that mathematicians find some equations beautiful and others ugly.
Not the attempt by neurologists to look at brains looking at beautiful and ugly equations.
Not fMRI machines.
No. All of that is fine.
What is not fine is the presumption that functional magnetic resonance imaging studies—and neurologists—will be able to settle the age-old question of What Is Beauty.
I’m not exaggerating. These researchers, after having read a book on beauty, conclude the experience combines pleasure, reward, and hedonic states. “Whether one can ever experience beauty without at the same time experiencing a sense of pleasure and/or reward is doubtful.”
I don’t do the philosophy of aesthetics, so I’m hardly in a position to take on this particular definition of beauty, but when I say of Golijov’s Ainadamar that It makes me cry and I hate crying but it’s so beautiful how can I not listen to it . . . I don’t think I’m misunderstanding beauty.
These guys need to watch Moonstruck, is what I’m saying.