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Elegance

 
Traces Elk
 
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Traces Elk
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22 November 2019 11:22
 
Jb8989 - 22 November 2019 10:22 AM

But I think there’s a general social agreement on things like elegence and beauty that might just be a mathematical recognition of things.

That there may be, but it’s still just a bunch of organisms of the same species telling each other how special we all are, and i didn’t see the working-out with the maths. That really deserves a second opinion, and I mean, from some other species. Otherwise it’s assertionist bollocks all the way down, and we already decided that woo is what it is.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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22 November 2019 11:42
 
Traces Elk - 22 November 2019 11:22 AM
Jb8989 - 22 November 2019 10:22 AM

But I think there’s a general social agreement on things like elegence and beauty that might just be a mathematical recognition of things.

That there may be, but it’s still just a bunch of organisms of the same species telling each other how special we all are, and i didn’t see the working-out with the maths. That really deserves a second opinion, and I mean, from some other species. Otherwise it’s assertionist bollocks all the way down, and we already decided that woo is what it is.

I’m not talking about the talkers. I think there’s those who stand out from the homogeneity in ways I only have the language to describe as elegant and beautiful. I don’t think esthetics covers the entire subject matter, either. Where the woo comes in is the raw confidence these guys and gals have because they’re not working for it. It’s in their soul, for lack of a better word. Everyone else’s sense of this is an effort-filled self-manufacturing - even subconsiously so I’d argue. The one’s I’m referring society bestows their confidence and they neither need it nor reject it, because whether through jealousy or attention they intimately already know it. They just move differently from the rest of us and I find them so alluring, but also very rare. The instinct is to conflate this with hubris. I think it’s distinct.

 
 
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22 November 2019 14:01
 
Nhoj Morley - 20 November 2019 11:37 PM

Without human perception or something like it, how would the universe know it possessed elegance?

Our step up on the evolutionary scale gave us some astounding gifts. The human mind reached a stage in its evolution where it was able to recognize and quantify patterns in nature, some of which are aesthetically pleasing to human beings.

Consider “the Golden Proportion” which is mathematically identical to the “Fibonacci Sequence.” It is a ratio known for its elegance and beauty. It is where, mathematics, art, and nature all intersect.

This “golden” number, 1.61803399, represented by the Greek letter Phi, is known as the Golden Ratio, Golden Number, Golden Proportion, Golden Mean, Golden Section, Divine Proportion and Divine Section.

https://www.goldennumber.net/golden-ratio/

This harmony and proportion has been recognized for thousands of centuries: from the Pyramids in Giza to the Parthenon in Athens; from Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; and from the Pepsi logo to the The definition of Golden Ratio.

In fact, our brains are seemingly hard-wired to prefer objects and images that use the Golden Ratio. It’s almost a subconscious attraction and even tiny tweaks that make an image truer to the Golden Ratio have a large impact on our brains.

https://www.canva.com/learn/what-is-the-golden-ratio/

The famous Fibonacci sequence has captivated mathematicians, artists, designers, and scientists for centuries. Also known as the Golden Ratio, its ubiquity and astounding functionality in nature suggests its importance as a fundamental characteristic of the Universe.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/15-uncanny-examples-of-the-golden-ratio-in-nature-5985588

The universe is not “chaotic and contingent and mostly unknowable.” Elegance and beauty do exist in the external world, but you have to reach a certain complexity in brain development and perception to see it.

We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself
—Carl Sagan

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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26 November 2019 15:16
 

“We are not to determine the nature of reality or of any object of philosophical inquiry by examining it as it is in itself, but only as it is an element in our knowledge, in our experience, only as it is related to our mind, or is an ‘idea’.... Or, in the ordinary way of putting it, the nature of all objects of philosophical inquiry is to be fixed by finding out what experience says about them.”

So long as one elaborates “experience” to include instruments and not just direct, first person accounts, I think the above statement is right.  At its most basic level, science—our premier means of knowing ‘the nature of reality’—uses some elements of experience to explain other elements, or in some cases, invents a nomenclature that enables mapping one form of change onto another, thus enabling explanations suitable for both replicating natural phenomena and for predicting the behavior of those found in nature.  Do these explanations penetrate into the nature of things-in-themselves?  Not exactly, but if done right they replicate the behaviors of those things as though independent of our experience of them, paradoxically by setting up a schema of reference by which the behavior becomes intelligible because we in fact are its source (this is usually mathematics).  In some cases, these explanations are elegant—at least I would argue the simplest yet most powerful ones with the greatest reach are elegant; but that elegance is a side effect—a collateral benefit, if you will—not a feature of the universe in itself, only the universe as explained.  For even our best explanations require idealizing, limiting conditions upon which their elegance rests but which in reality are never met, and in this respect, I think, the elegant universe remains a projection—a powerful projection, given the power of our best explanations, but ultimately a projection nonetheless.  At the end of the day, the universe just is what it is, neither elegant nor chaotic, and we find our way in it by inventing better and better explanations that encompass more and more natural events and changes.  In so far as our mathematical laws in the abstract are simple and elegant and also work so remarkably well, we lead ourselves to believe the universe is simple and elegant too, but when we are honest—like when we actually do the computations to put a rover in a specific place on Mars—we realize just how much ad hoc and creative fudging is required to make those elegant laws in the abstract work for us in the real world.  Hence the elegance of the universe disappears, being a matter of view in the first place…

[ Edited: 26 November 2019 15:26 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
icehorse
 
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30 November 2019 09:02
 
Brick Bungalow - 17 November 2019 11:15 PM

In your opinion which is a closer approximation of the case:

1. The world is described and governed by mathematically elegant systems at all scales and vectors. This is a deep truth that human attention can reasonably infer from the small but consistent cross section of events we are currently able to observe, predict and manipulate. Our inability to acknowledge elegance reflects the limits of our attention and not any basic property of the world.

2. The world is chaotic and contingent and mostly unknowable. Properties like elegance are not intrinsic to the world. Human beings perceive elegance because we are social animals whose cohesion relies on consensus values and functional patterns. We discern an ordered facet of the world that happens to be useful to us. We project an aesthetic preference upon the outside world. Our perception of elegance is correct to the degree that its predictive but globally it is more a reflection of our needs and limitations than it is a function of reality.

I lean towards one but I’m not really qualified to say.

As complex, organic creatures, our existence requires a certain amount of stability and order, so I suspect that it’s in our DNA to be heavily biased to spot order and elegance.

But I think the truth is some hybrid of the OP’s #1 and #2.

 
 
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