Is Art an Adaptation? The Timeless Controversy over the Existence of Aesthetic Universals (by the Lens of Evolutionary Informed Aesthetics)
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.
Aiken, Nancy E. 1998. The Biological Origins of Art. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Aristotle. 1965. The Poetics. Translated by Richard Janko. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
Baudrillard, Jean. 2005. The Conspiracy of Art. Translated by Ames Hodges, edited by Sylvère Lotringer. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e).
Boyd, Brian. 2009. On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, Harvard University Press.
Boyd, Richard. 1999. “Homeostasis, species, and higher taxa.” In Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays, edited by Robert A. Wilson, 141–185. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Brockman, John. 1995. The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Brown, Donald E.1991. Human Universals. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Humanities.
Carroll, Joseph. 2008. “An Evolutionary Paradigm for Literary Study.” Style 42, no. 2: 103–135.
Carroll, Joseph. 2011. Reading Human Nature: Literary Darwinism in Theory and Practice. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Chmielewski, Adam. 2012. “Evolutionary aesthetics as a meeting point of philosophy and biology.” Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 81, no. 2: 67–73.
Chudoba, Ewa. 2014. “Ewolucjonizmy w estetyce i ich konsekwencje.” Zeszyty Naukowe Towarzystwa Doktorantów Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Nauki Humanistyczne no. 8 (1): 69–88.
Coe, Kathryn. 2003. The Ancestress Hypothesis. New York, NY: Rutgers University Press.
Danto, Arthur C. 1988. “Artifact and Art.” In the exhibition catalogue for ART/artifact, 18–32. New York, NY: Center for African Art. New York.
Darwin, Charles. 2003. On the Origin of Species, edited by Joseph Carroll. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press. Originally published in 1859.
Davies, Stephen. 2004. “The Cluster Theory of Art.” British Journal of Aesthetics, 44, issue 3: 297–300.
Davies, Stephen. 2012. The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Davies, Stephen, Ellen Dissanayake, Jerzy Luty, Wilfried van Damme, Katja Mellmann, and Joseph Carroll. 2014. “Krakow Book Forum: Stephen Davies’s ‘The Artful Species’.” Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 51, no. 1: 85–136.
Dissanayake, Ellen. 1988. What is Art? Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Dissanayake, Ellen. 1995. Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Dissanayake, Ellen. 2000. Art and Intimacy. How the Arts Began. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Dutton, Denis. 1993. “Tribal Art and Artifact.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51, no. 1: 13–21.
Dutton, Denis. 2001. “Aesthetic Universals.” The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, edited by Berys Gaut and Dominic McIver Lopes, 203–214. London: Routledge.
Dutton, Denis. 2003. “Aesthetics and Evolutionary Psychology.” The Oxford Handbook for Aesthetics, edited by Jerrold Levinson, 695–696. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Dutton, Denis. 2004. “‘Let’s Naturalize Aesthetics.’ A manifesto for the Voices of the Profession series.” American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter: 1-2.
Dutton, Denis. 2006. “A Naturalist Definition of Art.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64, no. 3 (Summer): 367–377.
Dutton, Denis. 2009. The Art Instinct. Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution. London, Oxford, New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.
Dutton, Denis. 2011. „Art and human nature”. In Culture: Leading scientist explore civilizations, art, networks, reputation and the on-line revolution, edited by John Brockman, 43–56. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Gaut, Berys. 2000. “Art’as a Cluster Concept.” In Theories of Art Today, edited by Noël Carroll. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Gould, Stephen J., and Richard C. Lewontin. 1979. “The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 205, no. 1161: The Evolution of Adaptation by Natural Selection (September 21): 581–598.
Hume, David. 2001. (Of The) Standard of Taste. BiblioBytes. Originally published in 1757.
Kulka, Tomas. 1996. Kitch and Art. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.
Kuspit, Daniel. 2004. The End of Art, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Luty, Jerzy. 2015. “From ‘The Art Instinct’ to ‘The Artful Species’. Evolutionary explanations, the problem of defining art, and some minor remarks on the growing field.” In Naturalizing Aesthetics (Proceedings of International Association of Aesthetics), edited by Krystyna Wilkoszewska and Ewa Chudoba, 87–102. Kraków: Libron.
Luty, Jerzy. 2018. Sztuka jako adaptacja. Uniwersalizm w estetyce ewolucyjnej. Kraków: Aureus.
Łuczaj, Kamil. 2013. “Perspektywa ewolucjonistyczna w estetyce empirycznej: założenia, tradycje, problemy.” Kultura i Edukacja no. 2 (95): 82–106.
Matthen, Mohan. 2011. “Art, Sexual Selection, Group Selection (Critical Notice of Denis Dutton, ‘The Art Instinct.’)” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41, issue 2: 337–356.
Miller, Geoffrey. 2001. “Aesthetic fitness: How sexual selection shaped artistic virtuosity as a fitness indicator and aesthetic preferences as mate choice criteria.” Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts 2 (1): 20–25.
Orians, Gordon H. 2014. Snakes, Sunrises and Shakespeare. How Evolution Shapes our Loves and Fears. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Orians, Gordon H., and Judith H. Heerwagen. 1992.“Evolved Responses to Landscapes.” In The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby, 555–579. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Pinker, Steven. 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. London: Penguin Books.
Pinker, Steven. 2003. How the mind works. London: Penguin Books.
Portera, Mariagrazia. 2015. „Toward an Integrated Science of Aesthetics. Getting Rid of the Main Misunderstandings in Evolutionary Aesthetics.” Aisthesis. Pratiche, linguaggi e saperi dell’ estetico, 8, no. 1: 194–203.
Ramachandran, Vilayanur S., and William Hirstein. 1999. “The Science of Art: A Neurological Theory of Aesthetic Experience.” Journal of Consciousness Studies no. 6 (6–7): 15–51.
Scalise Sugiyama, Michelle. 2005. “Reverse-Engineering Narrative: Evidence of Special Design.” In The Literary Animal, edited by Jonathan Gottshall and David Sloan Wilson, 177–196. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.
Scalise Sugiyama, Michelle. 1996. “On the Origins of Narrative: Storyteller Bias as a Fitness Enhancing Strategy.” Human Nature 7, no.7: 403–425.
Searle, John. 1958. “Proper Names.” Mind 67, no. 266: 166–173.
Seghers, Eveline. 2015. “The Artful Mind: A Critical Review of the Evolutionary Psychological Study of Art.” British Journal of Aesthetics 55, no. 2: 225–248.
Tatarkiewicz, Władysław. 1980. A history of six ideas: An essay in aesthetics. Boston: Kluwer. Fitst published in Polish i 1971.
Tinbergen, Nikolaas. 1963. „On aims of ethology.” Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 20: 410–433.
Tooby, John, and Leda Cosmides. 2005. “Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology.” In The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, edited by David M. Buss, 5–67. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Voland, Eckart, and Karl Grammer (eds.). 2003.Evolutionary Aesthetics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
Wallace, Alfred R. 1870. Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. London: MacMillan and Co.
Welsch, Wolfgang. 1997. “Aesthetics Beyond Aesthetics”. In Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Aesthetics, Lahti 1995. Vol. 3: Practical Aesthetics in Practice and Theory, edited by Martti Honkanen, 18–37. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.
Williams, George C. 1966. Adaptation and Natural Selection: A critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Wypijewski, Joann (ed.). 1997. Painting by Numbers: Komar and Melamid’s Scientific Guide to Art. New York: Farrar, Straus & Girou.
Zahavi, Amotz, and Avishag Zahavi. 1997. The handicap principle—a missing piece of Darwin’s puzzle. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.