Reading: Davies, Stephen. 2005. Ellen Dissanayake’s evolutionary aesthetic. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2): 291-304.
This is perhaps a more difficult text, but do your best with it. It picks up on ideas from Ellen Dissanayake’s work, which we will examine in lectures. I want us to focus on the discussion from the third full paragraph on p. 294 ‘Evolutionary theory might take one of three approaches to art…’
- Explain the three approaches to art that evolutionary theory might take.
- How does Dissanayake argue against the second option?
- How is the claim that ‘art making is universal’ ambiguous?
- What is the common view of ethologists about art behaviours’ adaptive purpose?
- How does Dissanayake argue against this view?
- What is her alternative suggestion?
- Why does Davies think, on page 297, that there is some intuitive support for this idea?
- How does Davies argue against Dissanayake’s account – what is his first line of objection that starts on p. 299?
- What is his second line of objection that he outlines on p. 300?
- What is the third objection that he presents on p. 301?
- Davies outlines 4 responses that Dissanayake could make. Can you identify them?