The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Friday 11 January 2013

Teleologic beauty or value

The beauty or value of something which derives from the way it performs its function. Design protection has usually concentrated on matters of eye-appeal, though this is no longer a requirement for protection in the UK or EU systems: such a requirement may exclude designs in which form and function merge, and which according to some approaches to design philosophy merit protection precisely because of what may be referred to as their teleologic beauty.

The OED cites two connected references, one for each variant on the expression although the second might be an error by John Stuart Mill: De Quincey in Blackwood's Magazine, volume 52 page 730/2 (1842) ("The peculiar beauty of a kitchen-garden, or of a machine, which must be derived from their tendency to certain ends or uses, is called teleologic beauty") and Mill in Principles of Political Economy (1876) iii. i. §2 264 (1848) ("Value in use, or as Mr. De Quincey calls it, teleologic value, is the extreme limit of value in exchange").

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