Homo Aestheticus has 71 ratings and 7 reviews. Ingrid said: This is an extremely interesting book that attempts to explain the universal human behavior t. If homo aestheticus seems unrecognizable in today’s modern and postmodern societies, it is so because “art” has been falsely set apart from life, while the. Homo aestheticus: where art comes from and why. User Review – Not Available – Book Verdict. This book is an expanded discussion of the views Dissanayake.

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I’m obviously not talking about taking communion here.

Homo aestheticus

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it was life-changing, in that so many things are now clear that didn’t quite make sense or made no sense at all before I read it.

Sep 10, Sasha rated it it was ok.

Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. If you have been uncomfortable with some of the current rather rarified explanations for what “art” is, you will be relieved. While entirely sympathetic to her objectives, I believe her excesses defeat her purposes.

Homo Aestheticus

If homo aestheticus seems unrecognizable in today’s modern and postmodern societies, it is so because “art” has been falsely set apart from life, while the reductive imperatives of an acquisitive and efficiency-oriented culture require us to ignore or devalue the aesthetic part of our nature.

Art grows out of “making special”, an innate human characteristic that probably developed for the purpose of wooing mates and increasing likelihood of genetic propagation through sexual selection, and probably led to a feedback loop with the growing human potential for empathy that eventually Better still, biological anthropology? Even nomadic peoples who own scarcely any material possessions embellish what they do own, decorate their bodies, and celebrate special occasions with music, song, and dance.


Mar 26, Ingrid rated it really liked it Shelves: And demonstrating this difficulty, even if unintentional, is its own rewarding reason to peruse this book. Where Art Comes from and why. But as long as “aesthetics” figures into her overall conception, she straddles two opposing worlds that cannot be reconciled. More tribal drum circles, dancing around maypoles, riding with the loa, fertility rites, that kind homk thing.

Preview — Homo Aestheticus by Ellen Dissanayake. See all 11 reviews.

Homo Aestheticus calls for a full-fledged course, to examine its ideas and implications, and to compare similar trends in cultures throughout the world. Return to Book Page. Too lofty and idealistic.

Her ideas also have relevance to contemporary art and social theory and will be of interest to all who care strongly about the arts and their plac Thanks for telling us about the problem. You’re just trying to make something pretty, which, meta as that may be, isn’t going to come from these raw materials.

But before adopting Aristotle and empirical empathy to her project, she would have to exclude the entire “aesthetic” tradition, which stands in opposition to it. All human societies throughout history have given a special place to the arts. If you’re reading this, you’re interested in art, either in making it or in experiencing it or both.

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Homo aestheticus – Wikipedia

A fundamentally human appetite or need is being expressed–and met–by artistic activity. English Choose a language for shopping. Aetheticus insists that aesthetic experience cannot be properly understood apart from the psychobiology of sense, feeling, and cognition–the ways we spontaneously and commonly think and behave.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Ellen Dissanayake is an independent scholar, author, and lecturer whose writings about the arts synthesize many disciplines, including evolutionary biology, ethology, cognitive and developmental psychology, cultural and physical anthropology, cognitive archaeology, neuroscience, and the history, theory, and practice of the various arts. Jul 08, Michael rated it really liked it.


That said, I found Homo Aestheticus to be one of the most unique and insightful books I’ve read. Read reviews that mention homo aestheticus making special art or art making dissanayake human aesthetics biological tradition humans evolution ideas recent terms thinking behavior interested studies text.

University of Washington Press – Books – Homo Aestheticus

It is timely, provocative, and immensely valuable. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. I enjoyed it immensely. Critical Understandings of Diverse Artistic Vocabularies. She’s unprepared to make that final leap, and that lack of daring in the end sabotages her project.

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Joshua Enos rated it really liked it May 06, What “artists” do is an intensification and exaggeration of what “ordinary people” do, naturally and with enjoyment–as is evident in premodern societies, where artmaking is universally practiced. Paul Bloom Limited preview – And yet, two primary resources she either does not know, or she choose to ignore, could have simplified her project immensely.

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Henrik Hagtvedt rated it really liked it Jun 24, The Core of Art: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.