The Biological Origins of Art by Nancy E. AikenThe Biological Origins of Art by Nancy E. Aiken

The Biological Origins of Art

byNancy E. Aiken

Hardcover | April 1, 1998

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Beginning with Plato, philosophers have theorized about art, asking "What is art?" and "How does art evoke emotion?" Their answers, evolving from Plato's Idealism, have led to Nihilism. "Art cannot be defined" is the current answer to the first question, and the second has not been dealt with in any significant way since Langer's Feeling and Form in 1953. How art affects our emotions is considered not from a philosophical viewpoint but from an evolutionary standpoint. "How are emotions aroused?" is a biological question, and, as Aiken clarifies, it has been answered by neuroscientists. Art is usually thought of as pleasurable, but it can be ugly, disgusting, or fearsome. Aiken argues that fear, for example, can be elicited by simple shapes, lines, colors, or sound. Rather than just a source of pleasure, Aiken shows how art becomes a powerful tool of social and political manipulation. Through art, people can be conditioned to fear leaders, nations, gods, and ideas. A provocative work of interest to scholars and researchers as well as all people interested in art and human behavior.
Title:The Biological Origins of ArtFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.54 × 6.36 × 0.8 inPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275959015

ISBN - 13:9780275959012

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Editorial Reviews

?Working squarely within the present framework of sociobiology, Aiken makes the argument that, in addition to various cultural factors and other subjective associations (such as symbolism) that trigger emotional responses to art, there is a fundamental biological reflex that is universal in human beings....General readers, undergraduates through faculty.??Choice