Without Beauty there is No Truth

  • J.C. Couceiro-Bueno
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 102)


This paper aims to renew the questions that examine the “being of beauty” as a truth experience that can be studied and perceived (it must be remembered that in Greek the verb to betò kalón– evokes the concept of beauty, as only that which is whole, balanced and complete may be beautiful).

Any experience of art and beauty contains an intrinsic call for an alternative truth –which is more complete and on a higher plane– to scientific truth.

The aim is to demonstrate that beauty and works of art are capable of revealing themselves as a probable and alternative means of existence.

To this end, we initially turn to Husserl, who considers that aesthetic experience perceived through aesthetic intuition is comparable to the essential characteristic of philosophical thought.

It is also necessary to consider Kant’s belief that beauty is related to thought. In this sense the perception of beauty is removed from intellectual activity as it takes place within the complete freedom of the faculty of knowledge. In other words, according to Kant the perception of beauty, which aims for universality, represents a realm of freedom achieved through aesthetic and reflective judgement. The German philosopher therefore considers that beauty is something new and innovative (which in turn is a way of understanding freedom).

Having presented the historical background and supporting arguments, I go on to draw attention to the fact that art and beauty enable religion to be seen as an inhabitable and ontologically real world.

Unlike scientific truth, aesthetic truth (beauty), religious truth, the truth of myth are not accessible to man through methods and demonstrations. This type of truth would be simply too naive and internally secure; quite the opposite in fact, aesthetic truth (beauty, religion, myth, play, etc) must be seen as a truth experience that leads us to form a “global theory of the world”, without which the individual simply cannot live.

As far as the concept of play is concerned, it must be said that play adds a sense of order to our existence, in the same way that the play on beauty, on religion, adds sense to the darkness of our existence.

Play is therefore a representation of the truth. The play on beauty in sacred forms leads to the conviction that life is lived out on a plane that is superior to our everyday existence.

In the light of these reflections, the paper concludes with two assertions:
  1. a)

    Literature and religion are manifestations of beauty which, regardless of issues of history and faith, enable us to see the world from an integral perspective, conferring upon it a greater sense of dignity. All this is dependent on the experience of truth transmitted by beauty.

  2. b)

    Beauty which manifests itself in art and religion represents an authentic truth experience, as they add a depth or dimension to life that is not apparent through mere observation or method.



Aesthetic Experience Philosophical Thought Aesthetic Judgement German Philosopher Universal Validity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.C. Couceiro-Bueno

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations