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Ellen Dissanayake's Evolutionary Aesthetic

Stephen Davies

in Philosophical Perspectives on Art

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199202423
eISBN:
9780191708541
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics

In a series of books, Ellen Dissanayake has developed a subtle, complex account in which art is seen as an evolutionary adaptation. We use it to make ourselves and our environments special and, more ... More


The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Stephen Davies

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

This book explores the idea that our aesthetic responses and art behaviors are connected to our evolved human nature. Our humanoid forerunners displayed aesthetic sensibilities hundreds of thousands ... More


Art as a Technology

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0010
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

Some evolutionists see culture as a self-elaborating structure resting on rather general, ancient biological adaptations, such as intelligence and creativity. This implies that the arts and most ... More


Arts as Adaptations

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

This chapter argues that the arts best considered for their potential as adaptations are narrative fiction and music, given the background of evolution-relevant data and argument. Literary Darwinists ... More


Conclusion

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0012
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

This chapter takes stock of Part III on the arts. Adaptation, by-product, and technology cover the possibilities, but the many theories and arguments characterizing art in such terms are ... More


The Theory of Evolution

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

This chapter outlines the now classic account of evolution by natural selection—heritable differences between a species’ members make some survive and reproduce better than others. Other theories are ... More


How Might the Aesthetic, Art, and Evolution be Related?

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

Aesthetic and art behaviors might be adaptations, by-products of adaptations (aka spandrels), vestiges, or they might be so distanced from biology that they are purely cultural technologies. Being ... More


General Theories of Art as an Adaptation and the Origins of Art

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

By way of a warning, this chapter begins by noting the strong feelings sometimes invested in arguing that the arts are evolutionary adaptations. Two theories of the arts as an adaptation are ... More


Art as a Spandrel

Stephen Davies

in The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199658541
eISBN:
9780191746253
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Science

A common view is that art is a by-product of adaptations whose biological significance lies elsewhere. The absence of art-specific neural circuits is sometimes cited as favoring the view, though some ... More


The Function of Disgust

Colin McGinn

in The Meaning of Disgust

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2012
ISBN:
9780199829538
eISBN:
9780199919482
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829538.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, General, Aesthetics

It is by no means clear what the biological function of disgust might be. The Darwinian taste-toxicity theory runs into obvious trouble: disgust cannot be viewed simply as a ... More


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