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Opening Arguments

The kindness of strangers

More crack research from Indiana University. After observing 40 male and 40 female students (quite a sample there) watch videos of speed-dating sessions, the researchers concluded that "the opinions of total strangers" can greatly influence our "choice of ramantic partners." ("Watching," for the unitiated, merely invloves looking at something or someone. "Observing" means you got a grant to do it.):

Overall, the male students' interest in the women in the speed-dating sessions increased after viewing the videos, but their interest increased much more if the men in the video appeared to be interested in the women and if the men were considered to be as handsome or more so than the male student.

Female students' interest in men in the video increased when women in the video appeared interested in the men and decreased if the women in the video appeared uninterested.

Let's see if we can figure this one out. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but over time, we develop a collective idea of what beauty is. We can have a "feeling" about what is beautiful that can also make a claim to universal validity. Almost sounds like something Kant would have said. Oh, wait, he did. Give that grant back, 'K?

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Tue, 06/15/2010 - 3:44pm

Seriously, you linked to Kant on aesthetics? Not Santayana? Do you really think the high school graduates who follow this blog can slog through Kant on anything except, possibly, ethics?
This brings us to axiology. Break out your dictionaries, boys.
All axiology is ultimately subjective, even though there is a general consensus on what is beautiful and what is ethical. But there is no formula for either.

Leo Morris
Tue, 06/15/2010 - 3:51pm

Yes, I did, but frivolously. Heaven knows I just Kant be serious.