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The art instinct : beauty, pleasure, & human evolution / Denis Dutton.

Dutton, Denis (Author).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Sage Library System.

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Summary:

The Dinka have a connoisseur's appreciation of the patterns and colours of the markings on their cattle. The Japanese tea ceremony is regarded as a performance art. Some cultures produce carving but no drawing; others specialize in poetry. Yet despite the rich variety of artistic expression to be found across many cultures, we all share a deep sense of aesthetic pleasure. The need to create art of some form is found in every human society. In this book, the author explores the idea that this need has an evolutionary basis: how the feelings that we all share when we see a wonderful landscape or a beautiful sunset evolved as a useful adaptation in our hunter-gather ancestors, and have been passed on to us today, manifest in our artistic natures. Why do people indulge in displaying their artistic skills? How can we understand artistic genius? Why do we value art, and what is it for? These questions have long been asked by scholars in the humanities and in literature, but this is the first book to consider the biological basis of this deep human need. This book looks at these deep and fundamental questions, and combines the science of evolutionary psychology with aesthetics, to shed new light on longstanding questions about the nature of art.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Age Hold Protection Active/Create Date Status Due Date
Hood River County Library 701.17 DUT 2009 (Text) 33892100068056 Adult Non-Fiction Book None 02/26/2013 Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781608190553
  • Physical Description: 282 pages ; 21 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2009.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction -- Landscape and longing -- Art and human nature -- What is art? -- "But they don't have our concept of art" -- Art and natural selection -- The uses of fiction -- Art and human self-domestication -- Intention, forgery, Dada : three aesthetic problems -- The contingency of aesthetic values -- Greatness in the arts.
Summary, etc.:
The Dinka have a connoisseur's appreciation of the patterns and colours of the markings on their cattle. The Japanese tea ceremony is regarded as a performance art. Some cultures produce carving but no drawing; others specialize in poetry. Yet despite the rich variety of artistic expression to be found across many cultures, we all share a deep sense of aesthetic pleasure. The need to create art of some form is found in every human society. In this book, the author explores the idea that this need has an evolutionary basis: how the feelings that we all share when we see a wonderful landscape or a beautiful sunset evolved as a useful adaptation in our hunter-gather ancestors, and have been passed on to us today, manifest in our artistic natures. Why do people indulge in displaying their artistic skills? How can we understand artistic genius? Why do we value art, and what is it for? These questions have long been asked by scholars in the humanities and in literature, but this is the first book to consider the biological basis of this deep human need. This book looks at these deep and fundamental questions, and combines the science of evolutionary psychology with aesthetics, to shed new light on longstanding questions about the nature of art.
Subject: Aesthetics
Art > Philosophy
Evolution (Biology)
Instinct

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