Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Artful Species – Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution

Stephen Davies


This book 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. After introducing the topic, Part I analyzes the key concepts of the aesthetic, art, evolution, and how they might be related. Among other issues, there is consideration of whether animals have aesthetic tastes and whether art is not only universal but cross-culturally comprehensible. Part II is on aesthetics. ... More

Keywords: adaptation, aesthetics, art, beauty, by-product, evolution, human nature, music, psychology, technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199658541
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658541.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen Davies, author
University of Auckland, New Zealand