Posts tagged ‘evolution’

Art as Instinct

Another recommendable Science Saturday over at Denis Dutton discusses his book “The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution“. He argues that there are constant aspects through all cultures regarding the things we humans find enjoyable about art. He even provides cluster criteria that define art independent of culture:

1. direct pleasure
2. style (stylized)
3. individuality (“there is a mind behind the work”)
4. creativity and novelty
5. surrounding atmosphere and criticism
6. intellectual challenge (using the whole brain simultaneously)
7. institution (though not important)
8. representation
9. skill, virtuosity
10. special focus (special occasions)
11. emotional saturation
12. imaginative experience (“where music happens? in your brain”)

I enjoyed listening to this discussion (well, it’s more like an interview) because Dutton provides a rather relaxed and sophisticated rendition of arguments and themes around the “nature/nurture divide”. It also fits well with the Darwin-year, that seems to be everywhere.


02/02/2009 at 18:30 Leave a comment