The Instigator
anime-arguments
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bballcrook21
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Beauty can be defined within the scope of language.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
bballcrook21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 409 times Debate No: 77335
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)

 

anime-arguments

Con

Beauty cannot be defined within our current language system because it is something that touches more upon feeling than fact. Saying something is beautiful cannot be proved as a fact, and also cannot be defined. The phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" gets closest to the truth, but as we describe things now it is impossible for humans to properly define the meaning of beauty.
bballcrook21

Pro

I have accepted the debate. I will be arguing that Beauty, in fact, can be described within the limits of language. I will be using definitions from www.Dictionary.com and www.Thesaurus.com. I await your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
anime-arguments

Con

Before we begin, I would like to clarify the topic. While there are definitions available of the word beauty, it is my personal opinion that most of them are incorrect, or do not cover the entire scope and all the details of the term beauty. With that said, it's perfectly fine to use those definitions, but expect me to give reasons why I believe they are incorrect. So, with that clarified, here's my argument.

Beauty cannot be described by language because not everyone will always agree upon whether or not something is beautiful. If you look at a green ball, everyone who sees it that can properly see color (so nobody who may be colorblind, or have some other impairment that makes them see color differently) will say that it it green. They may disagree about the shade of green, but they will agree that the ball's color falls in the category of green. The same cannot be said about a woman, or a sunset. Looking at a woman (or a man, but I'm using woman as an example) not everyone will agree that she is beautiful. Some people may say that she is not beautiful because of the color of her skin, structure of her face, color of her hair, color of her eyes, the shape of her nose, or any of hundreds of other examples. For whatever reason, many people will disagree about whether a woman is beautiful or not. That is not to say that there will not be a general agreement. Most people would say that they think a certain model is pretty. However, not EVERYONE will agree that the models beautiful. You will always have disagreement.

This leads me to the point that beauty cannot be described by language. Some may say that a woman is beautiful because of her hair. Some may say that she is not for the same reason. If beauty is "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)," (Dictionary.com, meaning of the word beauty), then why doesn't everyone agree? One quality about a woman may give "intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind," for a certain person, but it may not for another. If beauty is the characteristics of something or someone that gives pleasure to the mind, then why doesn't everyone get that pleasure from the same features of something or someone?
bballcrook21

Pro

I have read your argument.

Here is what I can conclude:

"Beauty cannot be described by language because not everyone will always agree upon whether or not something is beautiful."
You have just contradicted yourself. Beauty is a descriptive word, meaning it is an adjective. Beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest). - stated by dictionary.com
Notice how it does not attain a physical trait to beauty. The English language has over 1 million words in it. I am more then sure that you could find one word that describes beauty.

However, beauty is highly subjective. Beauty is equivalent to entertainment, intelligence, taste, and so on. All of the latter are subjective. Subjectivity states that you can use language to describe it, but what you attain that specific word to is chosen by the beholder. Beauty is the same for all people, but not what you classify as beautiful. If you used that same argument that you created, you could take many words and paint them in a way that makes those words obsolete. If you actually read the definition, and analyzed it, you can see that those 46 sheers words disprove your entire definition. If beauty cannot be described by language, then why use the word? It is quite antithetical to use a word that you claim has no logical usage whatsoever.
Debate Round No. 2
anime-arguments

Con

Let me clarify my argument. Beauty has definitions and classifications (such as an adjective) within language. It is my position that these descriptions do not fully describe the word, and do not fully cover everything that it can mean. My opponent said "I am more than sure that you could find one word that describes beauty." If this is true, then I challenge you to find one. In order to support your argument, find a word, or a series of words that truly defines the word beauty. I do not believe you will be able to find one, or even several words, that truly encompass all that the word beauty means. My opponent also said "If beauty cannot be described by language, then why use the word?" This point is actually the focus of my argument. Why do we use the word beauty if it does not properly describe the feeling/experience/physicality of the word? My answer is simple: because we have nothing else to use. A good example of what I mean is an inside joke. If you've ever been somewhere and developed an inside joke with someone, then tried to explain it to somebody else, then you've likely felt the frustration that comes with not being able to describe it. Many people will end conversations like that with the phrase "you just had to be there," or something similar. This is because the event you experienced is nearly impossible to convey through words to someone who wasn't there and didn't experience the event. Yet, you still attempt to explain to through words because you have no other way of conveying your point to the person you are describing the event to. The same applies to beauty. We may find it difficult to describe something beautiful, or to explain why something is beautiful. Still, we try to explain and give reasons with language because it is the best tool that we have for conveying things like that. Humans attempt to get as close as possible to the true meaning of beauty, but there is something about beauty that many find impossible or difficult to put into words. Therefore, beauty is something that lies outside the scope of what language is truly able to explain and define.
bballcrook21

Pro

Beauty itself can be described. Beauty is just some aspect of a human being or a work or art, or anything for that matter, that you find to be attractive. Beauty explicitly has a description within the bounds of language. There is very little that you cannot express with language, as language itself was created as a communicative tool so people could express their ideas and thoughts.

You can attain beauty, but usually beauty is used conjunctively. You can pair one adjective with another, or you can describe a specific part of the person or art you are talking about.

"Those are beautiful eyes"
"The expression on this piece of art is beautiful"

Beauty just means some aspect that you are highlighting and that you feel attracted or at least attentive to. However, how you DEFINE beauty yourself is up to the beholder. I'm guessing you've heard the term "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".

If "beauty" is defined as "aesthetically successful", one must continue to break down and define the following definition. Definitions should be defined in the most prosaic form of language to be understood. Failure to elucidate provides fallacious definitions. However, I am not arguing that beauty can be obscure, I am arguing that beauty in fact can be defined by language.

Beauty itself is just a set term. How you define it yourself is what's important.
Debate Round No. 3
anime-arguments

Con

My opponent said "Beauty is just some aspect of a human being or a work or art, or anything for that matter, that you find attractive." This may be true for some beautiful things, but not for all of them. A song can be described as beautiful, yet you do not see any part of it. Therefore you cannot find it attractive. Also, different people find different things attractive. Personally, I believe that the thought of small seeds growing into magnificent trees is beautiful. This is beautiful "in my eyes," but I cannot put into words exactly why I find this certain thing beautiful. In addition, if the description my opponent gave is correct, then this thought cannot be beautiful because I do not find it attractive or "aesthetically successful." However, I do find it beautiful, and the meaning of beauty should encompass all possible applications of the word. My opponent also said "There is very little that you cannot express with language, as language itself was created as a communicative tool so people could express their ideas and thoughts." I strongly disagree with this statement. It is correct that language was made as a communicative tool, but there are many things it cannot describe. Every time a person struggles or fails to put something into words properly, it shows a shortcoming in language. Here are some examples: trying to explain an inside joke to somebody who was not there, truly expressing all feelings of love, fully explaining reasons behind actions and emotions, and why you have feelings that you can't describe, like the sensation of being watched, or of "a bad/ominous feeling" about something creepy. All of these are examples that many people come across every day that show the imperfections in the language system. Beauty is another of these examples. Being unable to describe why something is beautiful is another form of the inability to properly define it. Lastly, in my previous argument I challenged my opponent to find a word or several that can describe or define beauty after they said "The English language has over 1 million words in it. I am more than sure that you could find one word that describes beauty." I do not know if they missed my challenge, or if they have simply chosen to ignore it. In light of this though, I chose to believe that they have not responded because they cannot find an answer. If they claim to be able to find a word in the English language that can fully describe beauty, then I would like to see proof. Finally, I would like to once more state that beauty is a term that cannot be defined by language, for reasons stated above.

With all that said, Pro, thank you for the very interesting and thought provocative debate.
bballcrook21

Pro

Once again, I will restate my argument.

Beauty is defined by language. If it was not defined, then there wouldn't be a word for it!

Here's a word: attractive.

Beauty is something that you are attracted to, or something that bears attractiveness.

I do not know how more straightforward I can be. Beauty is literally, explicitly, defined in every English dictionary there is. IT IS DEFINED!

If we were to treat every word like you want to, language would not mean a thing. Beauty is just an adjective. You can say that this part or that part of a human being or work of art is beautiful. It is all subjective!

There isn't any way to argue with this. It is defined right in front of you.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by PericIes 1 year ago
PericIes
anime-argumentsbballcrook21Tied
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