What constitutes beauty? And how do we identify it? Philosophical approaches to this question have swayed from the claim that there are principles of beauty "out there" waiting to be discovered, to the claim that there are simply no aesthetic principles and that beauty is an expression of disorder. This text rejects these approaches. Ruth Lorand explains beauty in terms of a lawless order, one that captures the complexities of beauty and its inherent paradoxes. Art is then the product of the attempt to master this order and create beauty. The book begins with a detailed discussion of the notions of order and disorder. It analyzes the differences between discursive and aesthetic order, covering issues of meaning, typology and validity. Lorand draws from a wide variety of philosophical material from Plato to Spinoza, Kant and Wittgenstein, as well as contemporary aestheticians such as Goodman, Mothersill, Ingarden, Margolis and others. She also draws from research in cognitive psychological approaches to art. "Aesthetic Order" challenges contemporary theories of aesthetics, offering the idea of beauty as quantitative yet different from the traditional discursive order.
It aims to be of value to anyone interested in aesthetic theory.