Missing Arms of Venus de Milo
Reflections on the Science of Attractiveness

By Viren Swami
December 2007
Book Guild Publishing
Distributed By Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9781846240751
160 pages, 5 3/4" x 8 3/4"
$38.95 Hardcover


We are constantly told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what if, just as our lives are governed by universal physical laws, the notion of beauty could be reduced to a system of immutable facts? Could there be one universal concept of beauty by which we are all measured? In this intriguing investigation into the science of attractiveness, the author sets out to deconstruct the myths and uncover some of the truths about beauty.

Taking the Venus de Milo as his constant companion, the author embarks on a fascinating journey through the historical, cultural, economic and social contexts of this age old debate. On his way he encounters an impressive gallery of advocates and adversaries: from Plato to Michelangelo, from Rubens to Manet, from Darwin to Stephen Jay Gould; Shakespear to Naomi Wolf. The definitive guide for psychologists, art historians and philosophers of science, this highly accessible and wide ranging exploration is also an indispensable introduction for any of us who has ever wondered what constitutes the body beautiful.

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