Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Aesthetic Animal - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Aesthetic Animal

Henrik Hogh-Olesen


The Aesthetic Animal answers the ultimate questions of why we adorn ourselves; embellish our things and surroundings; and produce art, music, song, dance, and fiction. Humans are aesthetic animals that spend vast amounts of time and resources on seemingly useless aesthetic activities. However, nature would not allow a species to waste precious time and effort on activities completely unrelated to the survival, reproduction, and well-being of that species. Consequently, the aesthetic impulse must have some important biological functions. An impulse is a natural, internal behavioral incentive th ... More

Keywords: aesthetic impulse, adornment, art, beauty, biological functionality, evolutionary aesthetics, evolutionary psychology, fitness, natural/sexual selection, ornament

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190927929
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190927929.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Henrik Hogh-Olesen, author
Professor, Social & Personality Psychology, Aarhus University