aesthetic appreciation

An orientation towards, attention to, and encouragement of beauty.

Complementary virtues

There’s also “taste” or aesthetic sophistication (fashion sense?), but I think you can have either without the other.

“Admiration” might be a sort of combination of this and gratitude/appreciation?

To appreciate something in this way is to find something delightful/admirable in how it confronts your senses: not for what it represents (e.g. an important work in its field), or what it can do for you, or what its exchange value might be. A piece of machinery might be beautiful because of its elegant design and the interplay of its forms, independently of how it is also an item of utility or a valuable piece of merchandise.

Contrasting vices

  • lack of taste
  • ugliness

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links


Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” ―Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
  • “If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in dan­ger of be­ing re­gard­ed as a loaf­er; but if he spends his whole day as a spec­u­la­tor, shear­ing off those woods and mak­ing earth bald be­fore her time, he is es­teemed an in­dus­tri­ous and en­ter­pris­ing cit­i­zen. As if a town had no in­ter­est in its for­ests but to cut them down” ―Thoreau