ART AND WORK
IN our treatment of erotic art we have been led far away from the connection between art and the maintenance of species. Whatever the case may be for animals and those primitive men whose sexual life is restricted within a short and fixed pairing season, an artificial stimulation of the erotic feelings is no biological requirement for the existing tribes of man. Where art has mainly served this purpose, it has not, as has been shown, by any means exercised a beneficial influence on the race. The most typical illustrations in the last chapter were therefore found in the artistic productions of degenerate tribes which no doubt would, if brought into conflict with less licentious neighbours, prove inferior in the struggle for existence. And all these instances afford invaluable arguments to those philosophers who consider art as a checking and weakening factor in progress.
It is hoped, however, that the present chapter will contribute towards the refutation of such one-sided views. We intend to adduce instances from various stages of culture which will bring out the importance of art as a favouring factor in the struggle for life.
It is evident that a pantomimic imitation of any activity must, as exercise and stimulation, facilitate the