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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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An Animal in Search of Stimulation for Pleasure and Need

An Animal in Search of Stimulation for Pleasure and Need

Two Stories on the Forces that Drive Us Toward Art and Aesthetics

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 An Animal in Search of Stimulation for Pleasure and Need
Source:
The Aesthetic Animal
Author(s):

Henrik Hogh-Olesen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190927929.003.0002

The chapter begins with the most basic driving forces behind the aesthetic impulse: the human animal’s ecological living conditions and our ultimate species characteristics as neophile and stimulation-seeking carnivore and food opportunist. Humans turn calorie intake into aesthetic activity, exploration, and play, instead of sleeping up to 16 hours a day as the big cats do after a successful hunt. Our stimulation-seeking nature and the concept of the optimal stimulation level (OSN) are mandatory for understanding the aesthetic impulse, that is, how and why the aesthetic forms change and develop, and why we are motivated toward art and aesthetics both as a species and as individuals.

Keywords:   motivation, need, neophile, optimal stimulation level, OSN, play, pleasure, stimulation-seeking

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