Can Beauty Be Regulated?

Roger Scruton compares American and European ways of regulating aesthetics in buildings.
December 24, 2009, 1pm PST | Tim Halbur
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Scruton writes, "That question might prompt us to revise the assumption that beauty is subjective. Aesthetic judgements may look subjective when you are wandering in the aesthetic desert of Waco or Las Vegas. In the old cities of Europe, however, you discover what happens when people are guided by a shared tradition which not only makes aesthetic judgement central, but also lays down standards that govern what everybody does. And in Venice or Prague, in Bath, Oxford, or Lisbon, you come to see that there is all the difference in the world between aesthetic judgement treated as an expression of individual taste, and aesthetic judgement treated in the opposite way, as the expression of a community."

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Published on Saturday, December 19, 2009 in The American Enterprise Institute
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