The Art Instinct

From a recent review in the; Why Everyone is an Artist:

“Why do we create art and beauty? Dutton may be the best-equipped thinker in the world to explain.

An American who serves as professor of the philosophy of art at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and founder and editor of the journal Philosophy and Literature, Dutton used to run a contest to identify wretched academic prose. He then launched and still curates, an international digest of sophisticated cultural pieces that the Guardian named the “best Web site in the world.”

In short, he combines a magisterial command of the history of aesthetics back to Plato and Aristotle, a total commitment to clarity and verve in writing, and an up-to-the-minute grasp of almost every trend on the contemporary cultural scene.

Result? A philosophy of art for the ages. Dutton argues that evolutionary psychology – the school of thought with which cognitive scientists such as Steven Pinker have helped us understand the Darwinian dimensions of much social life – also explains the ubiquity of artistic activity across cultures and eons.”


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