Sample Assignment Paper on Critical Review for Module 1

Ishizu and Zeki indicate that the primal function for conducting a review is to evaluate a text and get its explicit meaning (65). A review gives an opportunity for questioning and weighting the information in the text. In fact, the reader establishes whether the message in the text was passed effectively to the audience. In this context, the article Enneads, authored by Plotinus gives philosophical explanations of the beauty concept (Chaffee 214). The article outlines the philosophies that are used in judging or describing what is beautiful and what is not. Plotinus argues that beauty is achieved through a combination of various components that make a unit (n.p). According to Plotinus, for an object to be considered beautiful it has to have adjoining parts that possess beauty (n.p). Arguably, as much as this assertion by Plotinus is correct, beauty can also be experienced in a single unit without dissecting it into various components. This essay therefore reviews Plotinus arguments paying special attention to whether beauty is necessary achieved through a combination of beautiful objects or a single unit can be appealing enough to be considered as beautiful.

Plotinus asserts that human beings are fond of the word beautiful but it is quite difficult for them to ascertain what makes them view things as beautiful (n.p.). Mo, Xia, and Qin assent to Plotinus’ assertion by indicating that human preference for beauty is compelling in daily life but it remains a mystery how beauty perceptions are encoded in their minds (214).There are various questions that arise when analyzing the aspect of beauty as outlined by Plotinus. For this case, Plotinus describes beauty as a proportion of various parts or objects that composite one thing. This implies that for an object to be beautiful it has to incorporate beauty from different components. Plotinus says that the parts cannot possess beauty by themselves until they join to contribute to beauty holistically.

Basically, this argument is factual but the author fails to recognize the fact that one element of an object can also be considered as beautiful without incorporating others. Using the prominent theory in aesthetics proposes, Mo, Xia, and Qin assert that beauty is perceived through natural tendency and through social cognitive processing (214). Natural tendency according to Mo, Xia, and Qin refers to the automatic influence driven by an instance perceptual activity towards an object. The automation does not require sequential brain processing to decide if an object is beautiful (Bogin, and Maria Inês 236). For instance, an exclamation you have beautiful eyes only focuses on the beauty found in the eyes. According to Bogin, Barry, and Maria Inês, natural tendency perception does not require proportion of components to discern if an object is beautiful or not (235). This theoretical approach disregards Plotinus argument that a beautiful object has to rely on other beautiful building blocks. The social cognitive processing resonates with Plotinus argument where Mo, Xia, and Qin say that perception of beauty has to go through brain sequence before admitting that the object is beautiful (215). For example, a house is said to be beautiful if it has nice tiles, roofing, interior design, and paint among other components.

Ishizu and Zeki also say that the human brain perceives beauty through divergent approaches (67). According to these authors, sunshine can be said to be beautiful based on two perceptions. First, it gives light which is essential for day-to-day activities and just because the speaker is comparing with another event when it was dark.  The first perception is solely based on a single object, light. The observer does not call it beautiful based on other elements but sees the light itself as beautiful (Ishizu and Zeki 67). In the second scenario, the observer would call the light beautiful because the brain is making an automated comparison with a dark place or the absence of light. So the decoration of light as beautiful will be based on a number of objects; the light itself, the purpose it serves, and the benefits it gives to the observer.

Another significant argument raised by Plotinus in this article is that beauty is judged through a collaboration of various human components; namely, mind, soul, comparisons, attitude, and even opinion among others. Plotinus says that the eyes notices beauty, the mind stores it; the soul passes judgment in accordance with the individual’s perceptions. Ishizu and Zeki assert that beauty is, for the greater part, some quality in bodies acting mechanically upon the human mind by the intervention of the senses(67).This implies that the aspect of beauty is discerned through an incorporation of all senses (Ishizu and Zeki 67).

Observably, an object can be considered as beautiful using two perspectives. The observer can either consider the components that make the object or a single component can possess beauty independently (Bogin, and Maria Inês 1050). The article by Plotinus only embeds on one side but the author should consider conduct more research on this area to come up with coherent findings.




Works Cited

Chaffee, John. “The Philosopher’s Way: A Text with Readings: Thinking Critically about Profound Ideas.” (2009).

Bogin, Barry, and Maria Inês Varela-Silva. “Leg length, body proportion, and health: a review with a note on beauty.” International journal of environmental research and public health 7.3 (2010): 1047-1075..

Hassenzahl, Marc, and Andrew Monk. “The inference of perceived usability from beauty.” Human–Computer Interaction 25.3 (2010): 235-260.

 Ishizu, Tohomiro and Zeki, Semir. Toward A Brain-Based Theory of Beauty. PLoS ONE. (2011) 6(7):60-70 e21852.

Mo, Ce, Xia Tiansheng, Qin Kaixin, and Mo, Lei. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry. PLoS ONE. (2016). 11(3): 210-219 e0150147.

Plotinus, , Stephen Mackenna, and John M. Dillon. The Enneads. London, England: Penguin, 1991. Print.