John Black - Alexandro Malaspina Research Centre, Nanaimo, British Columbia Discussing Malaspina's Views on Beauty
Malaspina had two sides to his approach to questions of aesthetics. One was that he was a philosopher, a well-read philosopher, so he had the theoretical side that way. Secondly, he had a great deal of experience of a variety of human societies and communities around the world. So he was able to put those 2 things together, because he was both a philosopher and a sea captain. He spends quite a lot of time in the essay on beauty thinking about what human beauty consists of, and so he is able to canvas a lot of understandings of what beauty is from across the world. Therefore, he can appreciate different kinds of beauty, if you like, or how different kinds of physical characteristics would be put together to form a concept of beauty. He realizes that there is a great deal of variety in understandings of beauty across different communities.