Is Art an Adaptation? The Timeless Controversy over the Existence of Aesthetic Universals (by the Lens of Evolutionary Informed Aesthetics)

Keywords: art, adaptation, art definition, theory of evolution, aesthetic universals, evolutionary informed aesthetics, consilience


Considering the fact that, in analytical terms, the main subject of research in the philosophy of art are statements about art and that it only re-examines objects defined as ‘art’, I argue, instead, that the interdisciplinary nature of the evolutionary approach to art and aesthetic is possibly due to the naturalization of philosophical perspective and due to ‘ethological turn’ in aesthetics. It makes it possible to reveal the origin, sources and function of art and artistic behaviour at a time of unprecedented discoveries in evolutionary science related to human culture and cognition. I see this as a duty of the researcher, who aims at finding answers to the timeless controversies about the real nature of art and the universal emotions it evokes, and not only deal with what theory formulates.


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