Conceptual Understanding of Beauty

Author: Katsenelinboigen, Aron
This book brings a new approach to the category of beauty, defining it as a predisposition to development. Predispositions occur as an isomorphic structure in any disjointed system where ‘time is out of joint’ and where it is possible to create conditions that can influence the unknown future. A predisposition contains as independent variables material and relational components weighted in partly conditional values. This study contributes to the manifold of different approaches to beauty and brings to it some fresh ideas. It introduces a new version of an analytical approach to beauty that allows dissecting the whole in such a way as to make possible its synthesis and the clarification of its meaning.


“Katsenelinboigen has written an intriguing account of a notoriously difficult topic, beauty, which he construes as a central organizing concept in a systems-theoretic analysis of an indefinite variety of seemingly disparate domains, centered (in his own account) in the appreciation and understanding of art, economic practices, moral and political systems, and the like…. Katsenelinboigen combines a mathematician’s and an engineer’s eyes in speaking of the kinds of results he is seeking; but he also brings to his work a rather surprising familiarity with regard to the world of art and the philosophical literature that has sprung up around it….his conception is a bold and courageous one, pursued in the most candid way, informed on all sides, and notably focused on the sense that the systems he is examining (in art, science, business, moral and political life, and, say, chess) begin to help us to grasp the rationale of human life itself…. Doubtless it will start many minds thinking along cognate lines. What I have seen is a kind of programmatic vision, sensible and intriguing in itself, but obviously also strategically conceived in its own way to embody the originating idea of beauty itself: that is, to provide a structured datum that manifests a power, in a high degree, to organize the imagination of human respondents in the direction of creative possibilities.” – Joseph Margolis, Temple University

“…the book by Aron Katsenelinboigen is very provocative and inspiring. It provides the whole new paradigm, and this is definitely of interest for physicists, and, I believe, for many workers in other natural sciences.” – Anatoly Kuklov, Associated Professor of Physics, CUNY

“[This book] presents a scholarly and meticulous examination of what beauty truly is, how it is commonly categorized whether in analytical or other terms, empirical evidence, and much more. A erudite discourse for advanced students in Philosophy and enhanced academia with a Glossary, Bibliography, and Index, [this study] delves into the core essence of what this popular ideal truly means with uniquely insightful literary skill and insightful revelation.” – Wisconsin Bookwatch

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface by Mikhail Epstein, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature, Emory University
Part I. the Meaning of Beauty
1. What is Going on in the Field of Beauty?
2. An Analytical Vision of the Category of Beauty
3. An Analytical Vision of the Category of Beauty (cont’d)
Part II. Categories Around Beauty
4. Some Categories Relevant to Beauty
5. Beauty and Truth
6. Beauty and Good
Part III: Predisposition: Empirical Evidence
7. Chess as the Basic Empirical Model to Clarify the Core of Beauty
8. Predispositions in Economics
9. Predispositions in Design and Signs
10. Predispositions in Psychology
Part IV. Positional Style in Literature: Authors and Characters
11. Positional and Combinational Writers
12. Romeo and Juliet: Observation of the Whole
Conclusion; Glossary; Bibliography; Index