Paperback / softback
October 1, 1995
9780295974798
English
320
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
$25.00 USD, £18.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Homo Aestheticus

Where Art Comes From and Why

"Dissanayake argues that art was central to human evolutionary adaptation and that the aesthetic faculty is a basic psychological component of every human being. In her view, art is intimately linked to the origins of religious practices and to ceremonies of birth, death, transition, and transcendence. Drawing on her years in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea, she gives examples of painting, song, dance, and drama as behaviors that enable participants to grasp and reinforce what is important to their cognitive world."—Publishers Weekly"Homo Aestheticus offers a wealth of original and critical thinking. It will inform and irritate specialist, student, and lay reader alike."—American AnthropologistA thoughtful, elegant, and provocative analysis of aesthetic behavior in the development of our species—one that acknowledges its roots in the work of prior thinkers while opening new vistas for those yet to come. If you're reading just one book on art anthropology this year, make it hers."—Anthropology and Humanism

Reviews

"Dissanayake argues that art was central to human evolutionary adaptation and that the aesthetic faculty is a basic psychological component of every human being. In her view, art is intimately linked to the origins of religious practices and to ceremonies of birth, death, transition, and transcendence. Drawing on her years in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea, she gives examples of painting, song, dance, and drama as behaviors that enable participants to grasp and reinforce what is important to their cognitive world."—Publishers Weekly

"Ellen Dissanayake's book is the most forceful rejoinder I've read so far to the trivializing pessimism of postmodernist art theory."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

"Affirm[s] the idea that art is for life's sake, for the fulfillment of fundamental human needs, and for human survival. . . . She gives us a coherent rationale for funding broadly based arts programs."—Art Therapy

"Homo Aestheticus offers a wealth of original and critical thinking. It will inform and irritate specialist, student, and lay reader alike."—American Anthropologist

"Homo Aestheticus calls for a counterrevolution in our thinking about art. It is timely, provocative, and immensely valuable."—Philosophy and Literature

Endorsements

"A wide—ranging essay on the place of art in human evolution and in the future, at once learned and spirited."—Howard Gardner, Harvard University
University of Washington Press

9780295974798 : homo-aestheticus-dissanayake
Paperback / softback
320 Pages
$25.00 USD

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