The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution

ISBN: 1608190552

Category: Technical

Tag: Science/Engineering


Posted on 2011-10-19. By anonymous.

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Denis Dutton, "The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution"
Bloomsbury Press | 2010-02-02 | ISBN: 1608190552 | 288 pages | EPUB | 3,7 MB

We talk about the maternal instinct and the mating instinct, why not, asks Dutton, the art instinct? We are a species “obsessed with creating artistic experiences,” so surely there’s a coded-in-our-genes reason for that. Darwinian concepts have been applied with illuminating effect to psychology, history, and politics, why not art? And who better to attempt this mind-expanding analysis than Dutton, a professor of aesthetics and the philosophy of art, and founder and editor of Arts & Letters Daily, named the “best Web site in the world” by the Guardian. Creative, nimble, and entertaining, Dutton discusses landscape art, pottery, Aristotle, forgeries, and ready-mades. Rigorous in his definition of the “signal characteristics” of art and application of evolutionary science, Dutton identifies cross-cultural commonalities in art, explicates our innate feel for images and stories (devoting an entire chapter to the “uses of fiction”), and explores art’s role in individual expression and community cohesiveness. Marshaling intriguing examples and analogies in a cogent, animated argument destined to provoke debate, Dutton formulates the best answer yet to the question, “What’s art good for?” --Donna Seaman

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