The Many Faces of Beauty

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The Many Faces of Beauty, the inaugural conference volume of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS), is edited by Vittorio Hösle, the founding Director of the NDIAS.

The Many Faces of Beauty joins the rich debate on beauty and aesthetic theory by presenting an ambitious, interdisciplinary examination of various facets of beauty in nature and human society. The contributors ask such questions as: Is there beauty in mathematical theories? What is the function of arts in the economy of cultures? What are the main steps in the historical evolution of aesthetic theories from ancient civilizations to the present? What is the function of the ugly in enhancing the expressivity of art? What constitutes beauty in film?

This collection of sixteen essays, by eminent scientists, critics, scholars, and artists, is divided into five parts. In the first, a mathematician, physicist, and two philosophers address beauty in mathematics and nature. In the second, an anthropologist, psychologist, historian of law, and economist address the place of beauty in the human mind and in society. Explicit philosophical reflections on notoriously vexing issues, such as the historicity of aesthetics itself, interculturality, and the place of the ugly, are themes of the third part. In the fourth, practicing artists and theorists discuss beauty in painting, music, poetry, and film. The final essay, by a theologian, reflects on the relation between beauty and God.

Contributors: Vittorio Hösle, Robert P. Langlands, Mario Livio, Dieter Wandschneider, Christian Illies, Francesco Pellizzi, Bjarne Sode Funch, Peter Landau, Holger Bonus, Pradeep A. Dhillon, Mark W. Roche, Maxim Kantor, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Mary Kinzie, Dudley Andrew, and Cyril O’Regan.

The Many Faces of Beauty is available from the University of Notre Dame Press. To purchase the book or read more, visit: