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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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Summing Up the Aesthetic Impulse

Summing Up the Aesthetic Impulse

Adaptation, Cheesecake, or . . . ?

Chapter:
(p.129) 9 Summing Up the Aesthetic Impulse
Source:
The Aesthetic Animal
Author(s):

Henrik Hogh-Olesen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190927929.003.0010

In Chapter 9, the threads from the different investigations are gathered, and the evolutionary functions and conditions behind the aesthetic impulse are outlined in a synthesizing model. One of the main discussions in the aesthetic field concerns whether artistic behavior should be considered a biological adaptation in its own right and thus an innate behavioral repertoire with direct consequence to our survival and reproduction, which has been passed down the genetic line through evolutionary selection. Or should this behavior rather be considered a random by-product that may hold certain advantages for us, but which is a side effect of other adaptive processes? The chapter argues for the author’s stand in the adaptation/by-product opposition and shows how the viewpoints presented throughout the book best can be contained within the adaptation theory.

Keywords:   adaptation, aesthetic impulse, evolutionary functions, instinct, music, pleasure circuit

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