Origins of Art: A Psychological & Sociological Inquiry

By Yrjö J. Hirn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
ART AND INFORMATION

IT is well known that, in the earlier classical times, philosophy, history, and science were inseparably connected with poetry. And it is as familiar a truth that pictographs and ideograms were used for writing before phonetic signs had been invented. But it is not enough to recall that poetry and the arts of design have in this way been serving the requirements of intellectual information; it can also be shown that among primitive tribes every one of the lower art-forms--the dance, the pantomime, and even the ornament--has been of great importance as a means of interchanging thoughts.

When attempting in this chapter to take a cursory survey of the various art-forms as used for purely intellectual purposes, we find it most advantageous to start with the dramatic examples. It is true that the art of the theatre, in the modern sense of the word, must be considered as a late, perhaps even as the very latest, result of artistic evolution. A literary drama, which fulfils all the claims of a work of art, is possible only on a highly advanced level of culture, and it has consequently by most authors on æsthetic been considered as the latest of all art-forms.1 When dealing, however, with the productions of primitive tribes, we

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1
For a recent defence of this theory see Tarde, La logique sociale, pp. 445, 446.

-149-

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Origins of Art: A Psychological & Sociological Inquiry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I- The Problem Stated 1
  • Chapter II- The Art-Impulse 18
  • Chapter III- The Feeling-Tone of Sensation 30
  • Chapter IV- The Emotions 43
  • Chapter V- The Enjoyment of Pain 56
  • Chapter VI- Social Expressioin 72
  • Chapter VII 86
  • Chapter VIII- Art the Reliever 102
  • Chapter IX- The Work of Art 111
  • Chapter X- Objections and Answers 134
  • Chapter XI- The Concrete Origins of Art 143
  • Chapter XII- Art and Information 149
  • Chapter XIII- Historical Art 164
  • Chapter XIV- Animal Display 186
  • Chapter XV- Art and Sexual Selection 203
  • Chapter XVI- The Origins of Self-Decoration 214
  • Chapter XVII- Erotic Art 228
  • Chapter XVIII- Art and Work 249
  • Chapter XIX 261
  • Chapter XX- Art and Magic 278
  • Chapter XXI- Conclusions 298
  • Authorities Quoted 307
  • Index of Authors 323
  • Index of Subjects 328
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