In the realm of art beauty is an object of contemplation, not desire. To appreciate the beauty of a painting or a symphony is not to be prompted to any concupiscent attitude, and even if, for financial reasons, I may want to steal the painting, there is no way that I can walk away from the concert hall with a symphony in my pocket. Does this mean that there are two kinds of beauty— the beauty of people and the beauty of art? Or does it mean that the desire aroused by the sight of human beauty is a kind of mistake that we make, and that really our attitude to beauty tends to the contemplative in all its forms?

– Roger Scruton, Beauty (2009)


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