Increasingly, as I turn to questions of ethics, I find myself wondering about things we could describe as “absolute values”. These are things we esteem and value for their own sake such as love, friendship, beauty, compassion, health, and so on. It’s easy to see why we value things such as health, beauty, and friendship for their own sake (though maybe these are more mysterious than they might initially seem). It’s more difficult, I think, to understand beauty. This is above all the case within a naturalistic framework. When I read architectural theory written during the Middle Ages, Rennaissance, and early Enlightenment period, beauty is an index to truth. It resonates with us because our ability to discern it is a sort of index of the divine that dwells within us; it is that which draws us towards the divine or God and that which indicates God’s signature on his creation. In a naturalistic framework all that falls away. We find we must give an immanent account of beauty. The question then becomes that of why we find the beautiful beautiful, of why we encounter the beautiful at all. This is not a question– at least at first –of what we find beautiful. In other words, it is not a question where discussions of harmony, pattern, and proportion would be appropriate answers. Again, the question here is not what is beautiful, but why such things would be beautiful to us at all. What is the ground of the ability to have, as Kant put it, “disinterested pleasure” or the ability to find things beautiful?