The Artistic Animal: An Inquiry into the Biological Roots of Art

The Artistic Animal: An Inquiry into the Biological Roots of Art

The Artistic Animal: An Inquiry into the Biological Roots of Art

The Artistic Animal: An Inquiry into the Biological Roots of Art

Excerpt

Every human being is the result of a unique combination of genes and the interaction between these genes and a personal history. These act together to produce the whole person. Yet genetic potentialities, built into our brains, can generate artistic behavior in the sense of both creation and appreciation. This exclusively human pattern determines an infinite space within which individual creativity can achieve its full expression. It is this space that I explore in The Artistic Animal.

I have not used a specific definition of art in this book. When I refer to art I mean all of the fine arts, including visual art, music, literature, dance, theatre, film, and the mixed media. Neither have I used the word "beauty" except in Chapter 2, in order to contrast "beautiful" with "ugly" subject matter, and in Chapter 7 to distinguish between what is judged as a beautiful painting and what is judged as a beautiful sunset. In the latter case I recognize that beauty can, but need not be, one criterion that figures in artistic appreciation. "Aesthetic" is used only in . . .

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