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Note: The article below has been written more than 8 years ago!

My (new) favorite quote

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are celestial ideas, independent and inseparable.

So, the same thing, if it’s true, must also be beautiful, and must also be good. If something is beautiful, then it’s good. And true. All at once.

The main idea:

The transcendentals (Latin: transcendentalia) are the properties of being. In typical accounts being is said to be One, Good and True (unum, bonum, verum). Additional properties such as Thing, Beautiful and Being (ens) are often posited as transcendentals but remain more disputed. (Transcendentals – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


I may be wrong with attributing this to Plato:

In Plato’s Dialogues various words representing these highest forms or ideas are mentioned, although nowhere in his works are beauty, goodness, and truth named as a specific group. In several places he mentions beauty, goodness, and justice; in other places he mentions justice, goodness, and wisdom. In Phaedrus he talks of „the ability of the soul to soar up to heaven to behold beauty, wisdom, goodness and the like”. In the Symposium the following passage suggests their correct order: „The true order of going is to use the beauties of the earth as steps along which to mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty: from fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions until he arrives at the idea of absolute beauty.”

, as this may be a better attribution:

At the beginning of the medieval period the philosophy of Aristotle became preeminent in the West, having been kept alive in particular by the Arabic philosophers. The term „transcendental” was introduced from Arabic philosophy by Philip the Chancellor in the early thirteenth century AD. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote of three transcendentals, namely unum, bonum, and verum, or the one, the good, and the true, which he referred to as the Ens Realissimum, or the Most Real Being. St. Bonaventure added the term pulchrum or beauty to the list.
Transcendentals – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anyhow, this is less relevant, who’s idea was first. It’s my current best quote ever.

I heard it first from Mircea Cărtărescu.

Source for the photo with the sky: Spiral Galaxy M83 | Flickr – Photo Sharing! (License: Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-SA 2.0).

The photo with the children was taken in Gaziantep, Turkey, 2013.

The quote, for most of its part, was taken from here: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful – Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Editions Odile Jacob; Garey, Laurence – Yale University Press.

Last modified on: 2018.08.21, at: 11:48.

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