Markus Strasser

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There is objective truth in aesthetics

Beauty is (a heuristic for) truth, truth beauty

The rebuttal that there can't be is a relic of empiricism

aesthetic truth is linked to factual one through explanation and also because artistic problems can emerge from physical facts and situations

beauty in flowers is a code between species - insects and flowers

Sometimes leaves or barks are beautiful to us, but flowers reliably are

Sometimes something evolves locally, like a peacock's tail, that's beautiful to us, yet rare.

The code has to be hard-to-forge for competing flowers, but easy to decode for the right insect

Compared to roots or leaves the arms race yields complex genes for flowers

Yet, unlike a peacock's tail or giraffe's neck, this beauty optimizer isn't from sexual selection because it's not mimicking features within it's own species

There's is a large gap between flower species and not much shared knowledge

One human, in terms of knowledge and individuality is like a separate species

Artists have to send messages across this gap - larger than flower-to-bee distance

We can exchange messages that are predetermined by culture and genes or we can invent something new. In the latter case we should strive for universal truth. This may be a proximate reason humans ever did so.

Counter: Aliens might have art that we can't understand. That's true, our art is indeed parochial, but a good first approximation to something universal

Is there no such thing as better Art? We don't need a waste basket in the office?

Cultural relativist views on art, assume - with little or no argument - that for each logically possible aesthetic standard there is a culture where people deeply could enjoy the work

But what becomes the norm of that culture then? If you can't improve a tradition, what do artists aspire or go to school for then?

Choice should produce something less random than the options you choose from

Pure art tries to find objective beauty

~ Conjectures and Refutations Karl Popper

Art with a domain purpose (marketing, politics) is going for subjective beauty, similar to sexual selection where the beauty is local - in the context of the species, time or any other short distance along some parameters

There is objective truth in aesthetics