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The Aesthetic Animal$
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Henrik Hogh-Olesen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190927929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190927929.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

The Aesthetic Impulse

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Aesthetic Animal
Author(s):

Henrik Hogh-Olesen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190927929.003.0001

Humans are aesthetic animals. We adorn ourselves. We decorate our things. We embellish our homes. This is a curious aesthetic behavioral pattern on which we spend vast amounts of time, energy, and resources and which manifests itself in virtually everything we do from mindless and meaningless ways of passing time to silliness, festivity, and vanity and to what is central to being human. The aesthetic impulse appears to be an innate disposition of human nature. An impulse is a natural, internal behavioral incentive, which does not need external rewards to exist, and a number of observations indicate that the aesthetic impulse is an inherent part of human nature and hence a primary impulse in its own right. The introduction addresses the ultimate whys of aesthetic behavior while outlining the structure and scope of the book.

Keywords:   behavior, evolution, human characteristics, natural impulse, ultimate/proximate motivation

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