The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of both.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 6 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
Ever since Plato banned poetry from the Republic, statements like this have been controversial, at least in the minds of philosophers. Here, Emerson anticipates the late 20th-century work in philosophy of literature, hermeneutics, and literary theory that seeks to heal the ancient rift between philosophy and poetry.)
“I had always served beauty. Davy and I together had loved beauty. Now, maybe, I was worshipping beauty in the Christian God while Davy was worshipping God. There may be danger in the love of beauty, though it seems treason to say it. Perhaps it can be a snare.”
(A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy and Triumph)
Where beauty is worshipped for beauty's sake as a goddess, independent of and superior to morality and philosophy, the most horrible putrefaction is apt to set in. The lives of the aesthetes are the far from edifying commentary on the religion of beauty.
(Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. "The Substitutes for Religion," Proper Studies (1927).)
Since art is the expression of beauty and beauty can be understood only in the form of the material elements of the true idea it contains, art has become almost uniquely feminine. Beauty is woman, and also art is woman.
(Rémy De Gourmont (1858-1915), French critic, novelist. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Glen S. Burne (1966). "The Dissociation of Ideas," (1899).)
Beauty is that which is simultaneously attractive and sublime.
(Friedrich Von Schlegel (1772-1829), German philosopher. Aphorism 108 in Selected Aphorisms from the Athenaeum (1798), translated by Ernst Behler and Roman Struc, Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms, Pennsylvania University Press (1968).)