Cassandra Sciortino

Cassandra Sciortino

Junior Fellow, Berkeley Institute

Why Beauty Matters:

Aesthetics as a Guide to Love, Nature, and Revelation

Beauty is something most of us experience intensely but struggle to understand reflectively. We glimpse beauty all around us: in nature, art, the human body, and even in the rules of thought and number. But what can we say, if anything, about the character of beauty as such? In this seminar we will seek to understand beauty as the “splendor of form” and its properties of integrity, proportion, and simplicity. We will also discuss how beauty might guide us into a deeper knowledge of love, nature, and revelation. This seminar will be co-taught by Matthew Rose.

For copies of the short readings, please contact

Dates: Thursdays in June
Time: 5:30-7:30 PM

Reading schedule:

6/2: Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism (selection); Robert Augros, “Beauty”
6/9: Plotinus, Ennead I; Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on Plato’s Symposium (excerpts)
6/16: Friedrich Schiller, “Nature and Freedom”; Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement (excerpt)
6/23: Hans Urs von Balthasar, “Earthly Beauty and Divine Glory”; David Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite (excerpt)