Part 2. The Rebirth of Aesthetics

A Language for the Senses

I’m not a big fan of the 13th-century philosopher Thomas Aquinas, but I have to admit, when I first read, “Ad pulcritudenum tria requiruntur integritas, consonantia, claritas,” I was right there with him. Roughly translated, he was saying beauty requires three qualities: integrity, harmony, and radiance. INTEGRITY is the quality of standing out clearly from the background. HARMONY is how the parts relate to the whole. RADIANCE refers to the pleasure we feel when we experience it. And the language of beauty, according to Aristotle, is AESTHETICS.

But what does aesthetics have to do with 21st-century business? Didn’t all that stuff die out with the Medici? Isn’t strategy more powerful ...

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