I'm in the middle of this book right now: Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art, by Alexander Nehamas. http://www.amazon.com/Only-Promise-Happiness-Place-Beauty/dp/0691095213/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-3239434-3962862?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191078257&sr=1-1 I thought these quotes were interesting:
"Nothing is attractive, even if all it invites is contemplation, unless it sparks a desire to devote part of one's life to it." p.70
"Beauty is the object of love and, for better or worse, love can be provoked by anything, sometimes even a streak of red paint or a blue spot on the upper right-hand corner of a painting." p.74
"Beautiful things interpose themselves between me and what I already want. They give me new things to desire. They are valuable not just as guides but also as destinations[.]" p.134
Lots to think about in this book, and we haven't even gone near the "truth is beauty" theory. I'll add to this post as I read more of this book.