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The Art Instinct : Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (DISCUSSION)

Dear Readers,

Our next title is Denis Dutton's "The Art Instinct : Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution" - ISBN[masked]-3.

"The Art Instinct combines two of the most fascinating and contentious disciplines, art and evolutionary science, in a provocative new work that will revolutionize the way art itself is perceived. Aesthetic taste, argues Denis Dutton, is an evolutionary trait, and is shaped by natural selection. It's not, as almost all contemporary art criticism and academic theory would have it, "socially constructed." The human appreciation for art is innate, and certain artistic values are universal across cultures, such as a preference for landscapes that, like the ancient savannah, feature water and distant trees. If people from Africa to Alaska prefer images that would have appealed to our hominid ancestors, what does that mean for the entire discipline of art history? Dutton argues, with forceful logic and hard evidence, that art criticism needs to be premised on an understanding of evolution, not on abstract "theory." Sure to provoke discussion in scientific circles and an uproar in the art world, The Art Instinct offers radical new insights into both the nature of art and the workings of the human mind."

Plenty of new & used copies are available on

I will be posting discussion points/suggestion later in March once I have read the book. Have a great time and see you in April!










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  • Joey

    Sorry, last minute emergency.

    May 4, 2013

    • Joey

      Thanks. No disasters.

      May 4, 2013

  • Svetlana

    Sorry I could not make it. Enjoy the book though. Thanks for suggestions.

    May 4, 2013

  • Peggy C.

    Hi everyone, I'm terribly sorry to cancel at the very last last minute. Something has cropped up at work that prevents me from attending today. Hope to make it to the next meeting.

    May 4, 2013

  • Rita

    I need to get my driver's license renewed - that's taking longer than expected. So frustrating!

    May 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, I just haven't had time to read the book :(

    May 3, 2013

  • shelley e.

    Sounds like a great book to argue about.

    1 · April 18, 2013

  • catherine s.

    Will attend on May 4th

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Kit

    No problem. See you all then.

    April 11, 2013

  • Sadia

    Sorry, I won't be able to make the new date! See you next time!

    April 10, 2013

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