Search Results for "darwin-and-theories-of-aesthetics-and-cultural-history"

Darwin and Theories of Aesthetics and Cultural History

Darwin and Theories of Aesthetics and Cultural History

  • Author: Barbara Larson,Sabine Flach
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
  • ISBN: 9781409448709
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 176
  • View: 383
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Darwin and Theories of Aesthetics and Cultural History is a significant contribution to the fields of theory, Darwin studies, and cultural history. This collection of eight essays is the first volume to address, from the point of view of art and literary historians, Darwin's intersections with aesthetic theories and cultural histories from the eighteenth century to the present day. Among the philosophers of art influenced by Darwinian evolution and considered in this collection are Alois Riegl, Ruskin, and Aby Warburg. This stimulating collection ranges in content from essays on the influence of eighteenth-century aesthetic theory on Darwin and nineteenth-century debates circulating around beauty to the study of evolutionary models in contemporary art.

Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics

Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics

Towards a Philosophy of Biology

  • Author: Francisco J. Ayala
  • Publisher: Academic Press
  • ISBN: 0128037318
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 420
  • View: 8124
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Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics: Towards a Philosophy of Biology focuses on the dominant biological topic of evolution. It deals with the prevailing philosophical themes of how to explain the adaptation of organisms, the interplay of chance and necessity, and the recurrent topics of emergence, reductionism, and progress. In addition, the extensively treated topic of how to explain human nature as a result of natural processes and the encompassed issues of the foundations of morality and the brain-to-mind transformation is discussed. The philosophy of biology is a rapidly expanding field, not more than half a century old at most, and to a large extent is replacing the interest in the philosophy of physics that prevailed in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. Few texts available have the benefit of being written by an eminent biologist who happens to be also a philosopher, as in this work. This book is a useful resource for seminar courses and college courses on the philosophy of biology. Researchers, academics, and students in evolutionary biology, behavior, genetics, and biodiversity will also be interested in this work, as will those in human biology and issues such as ethics, religion, and the human mind, along with professional philosophers of science and those concerned with such issues as whether evolution is compatible with religion and/or where morality comes from. Presents the unique perspective of a distinguished biologist with extensive experience in the field who has published much about the subject in a wide variety of journals and edited volumes Covers the philosophical issues related to evolution and biology in an approachable and readable style Includes the most up-to-date treatment of this burgeoning, exciting field within biology Provides the ideal guide for researchers, academics, and students in evolutionary biology, behavior, genetics, and biodiversity

The Concept of the Animal and Modern Theories of Art

The Concept of the Animal and Modern Theories of Art

  • Author: Roni Grén
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1351671723
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 164
  • View: 9110
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This book examines the importance of the animal in modern art theory, using classic texts of modern aesthetics and texts written by modern artists to explore the influence of the human-animal relationship on nineteenth and twentieth century artists and art theorists. The book is unique due to its focus on the concept of the animal, rather than on images of animals, and it aims towards a theoretical account of the connections between the notions of art and animality in the modern age. Roni Grén’s book spans various disciplines, such as art theory, art history, animal studies, modernism, postmodernism, posthumanism, philosophy, and aesthetics.

Evolution and Victorian Culture

Evolution and Victorian Culture

  • Author: Bernard V. Lightman,Bennett Zon
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1139992309
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 7271
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In this collection of essays from leading scholars, the dynamic interplay between evolution and Victorian culture is explored for the first time, mapping new relationships between the arts and sciences. Rather than focusing simply on evolution and literature or art, this volume brings together essays exploring the impact of evolutionary ideas on a wide range of cultural activities including painting, sculpture, dance, music, fiction, poetry, cinema, architecture, theatre, photography, museums, exhibitions and popular culture. Broad-ranging, rather than narrowly specialized, each chapter provides a brief introduction to key scholarship, a central section exploring original insights drawn from primary source material, and a conclusion offering overarching principles and a projection towards further areas of research. Each chapter covers the work of significant individuals and groups applying evolutionary theory to their particular art, both as theorists and practitioners. This comprehensive examination of topics sheds light on larger and previously unknown Victorian cultural patterns.

The Evolution of Beauty

The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

  • Author: Richard O. Prum
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 0385537220
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 448
  • View: 1161
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A FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Heidegger and the Work of Art History

Heidegger and the Work of Art History

  • Author: Dr Aron Vinegar,Dr Amanda Boetzkes
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
  • ISBN: 9781409456131
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 374
  • View: 9224
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Heidegger and the Work of Art History explores the impact and future possibilities of Heidegger’s philosophy for art history and visual culture in the 21st century. Scholars from the fields of art history, visual and material studies, design, philosophy, aesthetics and new media pursue diverse lines of thinking that have departed from Heidegger’s work in order to foster compelling new accounts of works of art and their historicity.

The Art of Evolution

The Art of Evolution

Darwin, Darwinisms, and Visual Culture

  • Author: Barbara Jean Larson
  • Publisher: UPNE
  • ISBN: 9781584657750
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 332
  • View: 2179
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A timely and stimulating collection of essays about the impact of Darwin's ideas on visual culture

Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

  • Author: Jonathan Smith
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 0521856906
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 349
  • View: 9287
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A highly illustrated account of Darwin's visual representations of his theories, and their influence on Victorian literature, art and culture, first published in 2006.

Survival of the Beautiful

Survival of the Beautiful

Art, Science, and Evolution

  • Author: David Rothenberg
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408830566
  • Category: Art and science
  • Page: 311
  • View: 7205
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'The peacock's tail makes me sick!' said Charles Darwin. That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetic taste than adaptive fitness. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have an innate appreciation for beauty - and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.

Queer Beauty

Queer Beauty

Sexuality and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Freud and Beyond

  • Author: Whitney Davis
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • ISBN: 0231519559
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 416
  • View: 8426
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The pioneering work of Johann Winckelmann (1717-1768) identified a homoerotic appreciation of male beauty in classical Greek sculpture, a fascination that had endured in Western art since the Greeks. Yet after Winckelmann, the value (even the possibility) of art's queer beauty was often denied. Several theorists, notably the philosopher Immanuel Kant, broke sexual attraction and aesthetic appreciation into separate or dueling domains. In turn, sexual desire and aesthetic pleasure had to be profoundly rethought by later writers. Whitney Davis follows how such innovative thinkers as John Addington Symonds, Michel Foucault, and Richard Wollheim rejoined these two domains, reclaiming earlier insights about the mutual implication of sexuality and aesthetics. Addressing texts by Arthur Schopenhauer, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, Vernon Lee, and Sigmund Freud, among many others, Davis criticizes modern approaches, such as Kantian idealism, Darwinism, psychoanalysis, and analytic aesthetics, for either reducing aesthetics to a question of sexuality or for removing sexuality from the aesthetic field altogether. Despite these schematic reductions, sexuality always returns to aesthetics, and aesthetic considerations always recur in sexuality. Davis particularly emphasizes the way in which philosophies of art since the late eighteenth century have responded to nonstandard sexuality, especially homoeroticism, and how theories of nonstandard sexuality have drawn on aesthetics in significant ways. Many imaginative and penetrating critics have wrestled productively, though often inconclusively and "against themselves," with the aesthetic making of sexual life and new forms of art made from reconstituted sexualities. Through a critique that confronts history, philosophy, science, psychology, and dominant theories of art and sexuality, Davis challenges privileged types of sexual and aesthetic creation imagined in modern culture-and assumed today.

Evolutionary and Neurocognitive Approaches to Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

Evolutionary and Neurocognitive Approaches to Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

  • Author: Colin Martindale,Paul Locher,V. M. Petrov
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category: Psychology
  • Page: 247
  • View: 8245
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In this book, well-known scholars describe new and exciting approaches to aesthetics, creativity, and psychology of the arts, approaching these topics from a point of view that is biological or related to biology and answering new questions with new methods and theories. All known societies produce and enjoy arts such as literature, music, and visual decoration or depiction. Judging from prehistoric archaeological evidence, this arose very early in human development. Furthermore, Darwin was explicit in attributing aesthetic sensitivity to lower animals. These considerations lead us to wonder whether the arts might not be evolutionarily based. Although such an evolutionary basis is not obvious on the face of it, the idea has recently elicited considerable attention. The book begins with a consideration of ten theories on the evolutionary function of the arts, and this is followed by several chapters that consider the possible evolutionary function of specific arts such as music and literature. The theory of evolution was first drawn up in biology, but evolution is not confined to biology: genuinely evolutionary theories of sociocultural change can be formulated. That they need to be formulated is shown in several chapters that discuss regular trends in literature and scientific writings. Psychologists have recently rediscovered the obvious fact that thought and perception occur in the brain, so cognitive science moves ever closer to neuroscience. Several chapters give overviews of neurocognitive and neural network approaches to creativity and aesthetic appreciation. The book concludes with two exciting chapters describing brain-scan research on what happens in the brain during creativity and presenting a close examination of the relationship between genetically transmitted mental disorder and creativity.

The Seductions of Darwin

The Seductions of Darwin

Art, Evolution, Neuroscience

  • Author: Matthew Rampley
  • Publisher: Penn State Press
  • ISBN: 0271079002
  • Category: History
  • Page: 200
  • View: 7626
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The surge of evolutionary and neurological analyses of art and its effects raises questions of how art, culture, and the biological sciences influence one another, and what we gain in applying scientific methods to the interpretation of artwork. In this insightful book, Matthew Rampley addresses these questions by exploring key areas where Darwinism, neuroscience, and art history intersect. Taking a scientific approach to understanding art has led to novel and provocative ideas about its origins, the basis of aesthetic experience, and the nature of research into art and the humanities. Rampley’s inquiry examines models of artistic development, the theories and development of aesthetic response, and ideas about brain processes underlying creative work. He considers the validity of the arguments put forward by advocates of evolutionary and neuroscientific analysis, as well as its value as a way of understanding art and culture. With the goal of bridging the divide between science and culture, Rampley advocates for wider recognition of the human motivations that drive inquiry of all types, and he argues that our engagement with art can never be encapsulated in a single notion of scientific knowledge. Engaging and compelling, The Seductions of Darwin is a rewarding look at the identity and development of art history and its complicated ties to the world of scientific thought.

The Art Instinct

The Art Instinct

Beauty, Pleasure, & Human Evolution

  • Author: Denis Dutton
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0199539421
  • Category: Aesthetics
  • Page: 278
  • View: 3867
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The Dinka have a connoisseur's appreciation of the patterns and colours of the markings on their cattle. The Japanese tea ceremony is regarded as a performance art. Some cultures produce carving but no drawing; others specialize in poetry. Yet despite the rich variety of artistic expression to be found across many cultures, we all share a deep sense of aesthetic pleasure. The need to create art of some form is found in every human society. In iThe Art Instinct/i, Denis Dutton exploresthe idea that this need has an evolutionary basis: how the feelings that we all share when we see a wonderful landscape or a beautiful sunset evolved as a useful adaptation in our hunter-gather ancestors, and have been passed on to us today, manifest in our artistic natures. Why do people indulge in displaying their artistic skills? How can we understand artistic genius? Why do we value art, and what is it for? These questions have long been asked by scholars in the humanities and in literature, but this is the first book to consider the biological basis of this deep human need. This sparking and intelligent book looks at these deep and fundamental questions, and combines the science of evolutionary psychology with aesthetics, to shed new light on longstanding questions about the nature of art.

Literature, Analytically Speaking

Literature, Analytically Speaking

Explorations in the Theory of Interpretation, Analytic Aesthetics, and Evolution

  • Author: Peter Swirski
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • ISBN: 0292721781
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 212
  • View: 7301
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In a new approach to interdisciplinary literary theory, Literature, Analytically Speaking integrates literary studies with analytic aesthetics, girded by neo-Darwinian evolution. Scrutinizing narrative fiction through a lens provided by analytic philosophy, revered literary theorist Peter Swirski puts new life into literary theory while fashioning a set of practical guidelines for critics in the interpretive trenches. Dismissing critical inquirers who deny intention its key role in the study of literary reception, Swirski extends the defense of intentionality to art and to human behavior in general. In the process, Swirski takes stock of the recent work in evolutionary theory, arguing that the analysis of narrative truth may be grounded in the neo-Darwinian paradigm which forms the empirical backbone behind his analytic approach. Literature, Analytically Speaking provides a series of revolutionary precepts designed to capture the ways in which we do interpret (and ought to interpret) works of literature. Reflecting a resounding shift from the poststructuralist paradigm, Swirski’s lively and colorful presentation, backed up by a dazzling variety of examples and case studies, reconceptualizes the aesthetics of literature and literary studies.

Making the Body Beautiful

Making the Body Beautiful

A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery

  • Author: Sander L. Gilman
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9780691070537
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 396
  • View: 755
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Nose reconstructions have been common in India for centuries. South Korea, Brazil, and Israel have become international centers for procedures ranging from eyelid restructuring to buttock lifts and tummy tucks. Argentina has the highest rate of silicone implants in the world. Around the globe, aesthetic surgery has become a cultural and medical fixture. Sander Gilman seeks to explain why by presenting the first systematic world history and cultural theory of aesthetic surgery. Touching on subjects as diverse as getting a "nose job" as a sweet-sixteen birthday present and the removal of male breasts in seventh-century Alexandria, Gilman argues that aesthetic surgery has such universal appeal because it helps people to "pass," to be seen as a member of a group with which they want to or need to identify. Gilman begins by addressing basic questions about the history of aesthetic surgery. What surgical procedures have been performed? Which are considered aesthetic and why? Who are the patients? What is the place of aesthetic surgery in modern culture? He then turns his attention to that focus of countless human anxieties: the nose. Gilman discusses how people have reshaped their noses to repair the ravages of war and disease (principally syphilis), to match prevailing ideas of beauty, and to avoid association with negative images of the "Jew," the "Irish," the "Oriental," or the "Black." He examines how we have used aesthetic surgery on almost every conceivable part of the body to try to pass as younger, stronger, thinner, and more erotic. Gilman also explores some of the extremes of surgery as personal transformation, discussing transgender surgery, adult circumcision and foreskin restoration, the enhancement of dueling scars, and even a performance artist who had herself altered to resemble the Mona Lisa. The book draws on an extraordinary range of sources. Gilman is as comfortable discussing Nietzsche, Yeats, and Darwin as he is grisly medical details, Michael Jackson, and Barbra Streisand's decision to keep her own nose. The book contains dozens of arresting images of people before, during, and after surgery. This is a profound, provocative, and engaging study of how humans have sought to change their lives by transforming their bodies.

America's Darwin

America's Darwin

Darwinian Theory and U.S. Literary Culture

  • Author: Tina Gianquitto,Lydia Fisher
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • ISBN: 0820346756
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 401
  • View: 600
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An engaging collection of interdisciplinary essays on the distinctive qualities of America's textual engagement with Darwinian evolutionary theory, especially in regard to On the Origin of Species, which highlights the influence of prevalent cultural anxieties on interpretation.

Film, Art, and the Third Culture

Film, Art, and the Third Culture

A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film

  • Author: Murray Smith
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0192507931
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 288
  • View: 1371
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In the mid-1950s C.P. Snow began his campaign against the 'two cultures' - the debilitating divide, as he saw it, between traditional 'literary intellectual' culture, and the culture of the sciences, urging in its place a 'third culture' which would draw upon and integrate the resources of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences, the arts and the humanities. Murray Smith argues that, with the ever-increasing influence of evolutionary theory and neuroscience, and the pervasive presence of digital technologies, Snow's challenge is more relevant than ever. Working out how the 'scientific' and everyday images of the world 'hang' together is no simple matter. In Film, Art, and the Third Culture, Smith explores this question in relation to the art, technology, and science of film in particular, and to the world of the arts and aesthetic activity more generally. In the first part of his book, Smith explores the general strategies and principles necessary to build a 'third cultural' or naturalized approach to film and art - one that roots itself in an appreciation of scientific knowledge and method. Smith then goes on to focus on the role of emotion in film and the other arts, as an extended experiment in the 'third cultural' integration of ideas on emotion spanning the arts, humanities and sciences. While acknowledging that not all of the questions we ask are scientific in nature, Smith contends that we cannot disregard the insights wrought by taking a naturalized approach to the aesthetics of film and the other arts.

The Arts and Culture of the American Civil War

The Arts and Culture of the American Civil War

  • Author: James A. Davis
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1315438232
  • Category: Music
  • Page: 234
  • View: 7099
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In 1864, Union soldier Charles George described a charge into battle by General Phil Sheridan: "Such a picture of earnestness and determination I never saw as he showed as he came in sight of the battle field . . . What a scene for a painter!" These words proved prophetic, as Sheridan’s desperate ride provided the subject for numerous paintings and etchings as well as songs and poetry. George was not alone in thinking of art in the midst of combat; the significance of the issues under contention, the brutal intensity of the fighting, and the staggering number of casualties combined to form a tragedy so profound that some could not help but view it through an aesthetic lens, to see the war as a concert of death. It is hardly surprising that art influenced the perception and interpretation of the war given the intrinsic role that the arts played in the lives of antebellum Americans. Nor is it surprising that literature, music, and the visual arts were permanently altered by such an emotional and material catastrophe. In The Arts and Culture of the American Civil War, an interdisciplinary team of scholars explores the way the arts – theatre, music, fiction, poetry, painting, architecture, and dance – were influenced by the war as well as the unique ways that art functioned during and immediately following the war. Included are discussions of familiar topics (such as Ambrose Bierce, Peter Rothermel, and minstrelsy) with less-studied subjects (soldiers and dance, epistolary songs). The collection as a whole sheds light on the role of race, class, and gender in the production and consumption of the arts for soldiers and civilians at this time; it also draws attention to the ways that art shaped – and was shaped by – veterans long after the war.

Survival of the Prettiest

Survival of the Prettiest

The Science of Beauty

  • Author: Nancy Etcoff
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 0307779114
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 336
  • View: 4533
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A provocative and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, skewering the myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior. In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, argues that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism—it’s in our biology. Beauty, she explains, is an essential and ineradicable part of human nature that is revered and ferociously pursued in nearly every civilization—and for good reason. Those features to which we are most attracted are often signals of fertility and fecundity. When seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival, our sometimes extreme attempts to attain beauty—both to become beautiful ourselves and to acquire an attractive partner—suddenly become much more understandable. Moreover, if we understand how the desire for beauty is innate, then we can begin to work in our own interests, and not just the interests of our genetic tendencies.

The Artful Species

The Artful Species

Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

  • Author: Stephen Davies
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191015857
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 320
  • View: 4195
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The Artful Species 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 of years ago and the art standing of prehistoric cave paintings is virtually uncontested. In Part One, Stephen Davies analyses the key concepts of the aesthetic, art, and evolution, and explores how they might be related. He considers a range of issues, including whether animals have aesthetic tastes and whether art is not only universal but cross-culturally comprehensible. Part Two examines the many aesthetic interests humans take in animals and how these reflect our biological interests, and the idea that our environmental and landscape preferences are rooted in the experiences of our distant ancestors. In considering the controversial subject of human beauty, evolutionary psychologists have traditionally focused on female physical attractiveness in the context of mate selection, but Davies presents a broader view which decouples human beauty from mate choice and explains why it goes more with social performance and self-presentation. Part Three asks if the arts, together or singly, are biological adaptations, incidental byproducts of nonart adaptations, or so removed from biology that they rate as purely cultural technologies. Davies does not conclusively support any one of the many positions considered here, but argues that there are grounds, nevertheless, for seeing art as part of human nature. Art serves as a powerful and complex signal of human fitness, and so cannot be incidental to biology. Indeed, aesthetic responses and art behaviors are the touchstones of our humanity.