“The beautiful is the same as the good, and they
differ in aspect only. For since good is what all seek, the notion of good is
that which calms the desire; while the notion of the beautiful is that which
calms the desire, by being seen or known. Consequently those senses chiefly
regard the beautiful, which are the most cognitive, viz. sight and hearing, as
ministering to reason; for we speak of beautiful sights and beautiful sounds.
But in reference to the other objects of the other senses, we do not use the
expression ‘beautiful,’ for we do not speak of beautiful tastes, and beautiful
odors. Thus it is evident that beauty adds to goodness a relation to the
cognitive faculty: so that ‘good’ means that which simply pleases the appetite;
while the ‘beautiful’ is something pleasant to apprehend.”— St.
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) [Angelic] Doctor of the Church, Summa Theologiae (1485)
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