A book on ethics and philosophy of values

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This question requires us to look at the way we look at reality, as if it could contain something like beauty and ugliness.

The way we look at things 'doubles' reality (in this sense it is Platonic) in that we commonly dissociate an object from its beauty.
For example, we separate the lion from its beauty, as if there were two realities there. We allow ourselves phrases like "It's not the lion I love, it's its beauty".
However, we have to understand that the lion is perhaps nothing other than its beauty, that is to say: the lion is nothing other than those sinuous, powerful curves, the exuberance of that mane, that cold, tranquil gaze.
So it is not that we take pleasure in the lion's beauty, but in "the lion itself", or a part of the lion. So it is not a case of saying "The beauty of this object pleases me", but "This object pleases me".

As a result, beauty seems to be an unnecessary redundancy. Can't we just say: there is no such thing as 'beautiful', there are only objects that we like or dislike?

Since we often do not love the object in its entirety (the lion in all its characteristics) but only one aspect of the lion (its power, its mane, etc.), we think we can conclude that it is not the lion but its beauty that we love. In fact, it is a part of the lion, a signifying element in it, that we love, and not something in it that would have a completely different ontological reality from it, which would be its "beauty".

So what happens in so-called aesthetic pleasure is a certain relationship to the thing itself, and not to its beauty. The question is: what exactly is the nature of this relationship? What does it mean when something 'pleases' us? In my view, it means finding that the thing, or something in it, has value.

I therefore think it possible to return to a solution that we had momentarily discarded: the concept of beauty is an empty notion, which has no meaning in itself, and which can be reduced entirely to that of value.

So let us return to our example: a man of no value (a murderer) is nevertheless a handsome man. Should not we distinguish between beauty and value? In fact, we think we can explain this situation as follows.

There is no beauty in this man, since beauty is an empty concept. There are two significant elements in him to which I attach great value: his square chin gives off an impression of power, and his blue eyes give off an impression of gentleness. Softness and power are two meaningful concepts, unlike beauty.
Since I find them to be of great value, I experience great pleasure in contemplating this man; nevertheless, another signifying element (meanness) is present in this man, an element to which I attach a very negative value, so that in the final assessment of the man, I find him to be worthless.

In this situation, then, the pleasure I find in contemplating this man is not aesthetic pleasure taken from his beauty, but axiological pleasure taken from his value (or rather from the value of a signifying element I find in him).

This, then, is how we would sum up our proposal: the so-called aesthetic pleasure is, in the final analysis, merely an axiological pleasure caused not by beauty, but by the value of the thing.