Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Discussion of 'On the Scientific Value of Beauty'
(S213: 1872)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Third party rendering of comments Wallace made on 'On the Scientific Value of Beauty,' a paper by F. T. Mott read at a meeting of the Dept. of Zoology and Botany, Section D, Biology, of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (20 August 1872, Brighton). Reported on page 275 of the 31 August 1872 issue of Athenæum. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S213.htm


     Mr. F. T. Mott, in a paper 'On the Scientific Value of Beauty,' assuming physical beauty to correspond to climax of maturity in any line of development amongst organisms, though that degrees of beauty would serve as measures of grade of development.

     Mr. Wallace pointed out that the original germ of beauty in some remote ancestral organism might be a mere accidental circumstance. The idea of the beautiful would, however, go on developing in the same line as the evolution of animals themselves. In this way it was accountable that animals lower than ourselves should take pleasure in the same colours and outlines as we did.--Sir J. Lubbock remarked, that if there were many beautiful things in Nature, there were many also that were undeniably ugly.


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