? asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 6 months ago

Beauty and art in primitive life -Sociology?

"For what is philosophy but an art -one more attempt to give "significant form" to the chaos of experience?

If the sense of beauty is not strong in primitive society it may be because the lack of delay between sexual desire and fulfillment gives no time for that imaginative enhancement of the object which makes so much of the object'S beauty. Primitive man seldom thinks of selecting women because of what we should call their beauty; he thinks rather of their usefulness, and never dreams of rejecting a strong-armed bride because of her ugliness."

I don't understand this paragraph 

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

     It's pretty basically English that's easily understood, but perhaps you ought to ask in the Quotes & Quotations forum, or perhaps Homework Help. If you actually intended to put in Sociology, move it there instead. Just because the word philosophy is in the quote does not render the philosophy forum as the best place to ask. 

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    If a definition of "sense of beauty" is agreed upon, then primitive artists such as Cezanne or Monet may reflect their primitive society.  This sense of beauty, or rather, the lack of it, was often noted by 19th/early 20th century commentators re the Impressionists, Expressionists, etc. (not to further mention the Fauves).  Many French artists, who shall remain unnamed, were quick to, or did not delay, the concupiscence which your writer of sociological hypothesis has so well pointed to.  So far, so good...however, in some primitive societies, such as 19th/early 20th century France, strong-armed French women were not needed (presumably they had maids from England or Germany, who were strong-armed, as coming from even more primitive societies (just ask the French)), so the only value a French (or other, hello diversity) woman had for the primitive French male artist would be the kind of beauty called hottieness, which tends to be presumptively linked in the minds of Frenchmen with a kind of Platonic beauty called Oulala.

    So, again to explain, when you define beauty and its sensing as you like it, you are validly able to point to the various primitive societies and voila, c'est magnifique, oulala, QED.

    Another possible explanation:  too busy working to make ends meet, to look at women as other than work horses, eh?:  this would be more likely in Maslow's early stages of deficit-cognition:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_o... much as in today's modern Chinese and Russian armies, women are not as valued because their average upper body strength cannot do the heavy lifting such military work asks.  Those women who would potentially succeed would be built more like Superman than Wonderwoman (although with modern techno-magic, Wonder women may be as good if not better than their cis male counterparts, e.g., manning joy sticks to remotely bomb targets, a more fine-motor coordination skill).   The occasional beautiful farmer's daughter cannot be so easily kept on the farm, after they've seen the bright shiny objects of Paree--unless they're genuinely Christian or other similar religious, or have strong moral ethics of a similar quality, etc.  Relevant philosophical document (101 years young):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgqVCJpRqWQ

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    p.s.  It is a fact of life that a good-looking, attractive, faithful, and respectful woman who is a good worker will be more valuable to many men, than a good working woman who is more "plain."  So the sociological hypothesis may be like Sorokin's (he being a modern founder of sociology):  if Maslow's criteria are met, then the more civilized being-cognition stages permit and encourage beauty, comeliness, social graces, more inner childlike appreciation of personal qualities, etc.--and insofar as a society becomes too "top-heavy," i.e. living off its cultural capital mostly contributed by earlier, ethical pioneers, and not continuing to earn their daily bread (too many "middlemen" or middle management people, governmentth bureaucratization, non-merit-based cronyism, union featherbedding, etc.), then the society becomes a society in decline, as the general populace themselves no longer do as much honest and productive labor--they do not genuinely understand, value, and honor labor--then a type of decadent or effete beauty arises.  There is a balance between early pioneering ideals, and succeeding generations' respectful wise work and stewardship of their heritage.  If the latter generations "suck," they are in danger of becoming miseducated, enangered marxist rebels and/or national socialist point-the-finger types, finding often-make-believe enemies such as "Jews" or "Confucianists" or "kulaks," rather than seeking to learn to earn by developing and continuing genuine work-based constructive ethics (such as described in Maslow's and Montessori's research and practice), i.e., becoming wise stewards who continue to reform and even advance their civilization.  A typical tactic of gramscians:  seeking the destruction or erasement of a nation's history, seeking to condemn its earlier generations as irredeemably sinful, constructing false history narratives such as the "1619 Project," and introducing radical and feckless ethics toward a socialist carnal-minded dream/nightmare.  So far, such artificial pseudo-science or even pseudo-philosophy, etc., has not worked well wherever it's been tried, and an argument of ignorance is that the "right intelligentsia" have not yet been in power.  "Come on man"...nobody did the intelligentsia apocalypso better than Lenin, nobody did the pseudo-philosophy better than Marx.

    Related:  "The Fourth Turning;"

    Also, the cartoon which shows one snail saying to another, as they look at a Scotch magic tape dispenser:  "I don't care if she is a Scotch tape dispenser, I think she's beautiful."  And, life imitates cartoon art:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpAGAVnwEDs

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Neither do I ! Who knows what was in the mind of people in "primitive" societies. As the origin of all modern sciences philosophy is hardly an art. Justify an assumption any way you like, but don't accept it as an irrefutable fact!

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