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Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution

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Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The peacock's tail," said Charles Darwin, "makes me sick." That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetics than with the practical. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty — and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.

Review:

"A searching, accessible, and often ecstatic book." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Not many authors could find a way to interweave abstruse art theory with discussions of squid and their glorious 'dynamic tattoos,' elephants who paint, and Paleolithic cave art, but Rothenberg succeeds, with this entertaining wander through the world of art and the places where it intersects science." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A] bravura investigation...with verve, multidiscipline fluency, and an encompassing vision, Rothenberg accomplishes his mission to change the way we perceive and understand the intertwining of natural evolution and human cultural evolution, beauty and life, art and science." Booklist (starred)

Review:

"The colour blue rules for the male satin bowerbird of Australia. The interior decorators of the avian world, they gather plastic, shells and feathers of that hue to adorn their meticulously built stick structures, all to lure a potential mate. This is just one indication, argues philosopher and musician David Rothenberg, that beauty is not random but is intrinsic to life — and that evolution proceeds by sumptuousness, not by utility alone. Rothenberg covers topics such as camouflage, abstraction, the profound impact of art on science and much more to explore his theme." Nature

Review:

"A door-opener to new ideas and connective tissue in the skeleton of science, particularly biology and Darwin's theory of evolution. Chances are good you'll find Mr. Rothenberg's ‘mad quest for some evidence of aesthetic ideas in the very way nature is put together to be persuasive." New York Journal of Books

Review:

"Rothenberg is a learned and thoughtful guide across the realms of science and art." Washington Independent Review of Books

Review:

"This is the triumphant lesson of Survival of the Beautiful: nature is not entirely red in tooth and claw, it also allows the beautiful right of passage." Peter Forbes, The Guardian

Review:

"A fun, freewheeling discussion of the role of aesthetics in evolution and a celebration of the beauty to be found in the great diversity of life." Kirkus

Synopsis:

"The peacock's tail," said Charles Darwin, "makes me sick." That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetics than with the practical. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty-and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.

About the Author

David Rothenberg is Professor of Philosophy and Music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the author of books including Thousand Mile Song and Why Birds Sing. His articles have appeared in Parabola, The Nation, Wired, Dwell, and Sierra.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608193882
Author:
Rothenberg, David
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Press
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Subject:
General
Subject:
Life Sciences/Biology
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Art, Science, and Ev
Publication Date:
20130409
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Featured Titles » Science
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Evolution

Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Press - English 9781608193882 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A searching, accessible, and often ecstatic book."
"Review" by , "Not many authors could find a way to interweave abstruse art theory with discussions of squid and their glorious 'dynamic tattoos,' elephants who paint, and Paleolithic cave art, but Rothenberg succeeds, with this entertaining wander through the world of art and the places where it intersects science."
"Review" by , "[A] bravura investigation...with verve, multidiscipline fluency, and an encompassing vision, Rothenberg accomplishes his mission to change the way we perceive and understand the intertwining of natural evolution and human cultural evolution, beauty and life, art and science." (starred)
"Review" by , "The colour blue rules for the male satin bowerbird of Australia. The interior decorators of the avian world, they gather plastic, shells and feathers of that hue to adorn their meticulously built stick structures, all to lure a potential mate. This is just one indication, argues philosopher and musician David Rothenberg, that beauty is not random but is intrinsic to life — and that evolution proceeds by sumptuousness, not by utility alone. Rothenberg covers topics such as camouflage, abstraction, the profound impact of art on science and much more to explore his theme."
"Review" by , "A door-opener to new ideas and connective tissue in the skeleton of science, particularly biology and Darwin's theory of evolution. Chances are good you'll find Mr. Rothenberg's ‘mad quest for some evidence of aesthetic ideas in the very way nature is put together to be persuasive."
"Review" by , "Rothenberg is a learned and thoughtful guide across the realms of science and art."
"Review" by , "This is the triumphant lesson of Survival of the Beautiful: nature is not entirely red in tooth and claw, it also allows the beautiful right of passage."
"Review" by , "A fun, freewheeling discussion of the role of aesthetics in evolution and a celebration of the beauty to be found in the great diversity of life."
"Synopsis" by ,
"The peacock's tail," said Charles Darwin, "makes me sick." That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetics than with the practical. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty-and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.
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