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Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began (McLellan Book)


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To Ellen Dissanayake, the arts are biologically evolved propensities of human nature: their fundamental features helped early humans adapt to their environment and reproduce themselves successfully over generations. In Art and Intimacy she argues for the joint evolutionary origin of art and intimacy, what we commonly call love.

Today we humans live in environments very different from those of our ancestors. They used ceremonies (the arts) to address matters of serious concern, such as health, prosperity, and fecundity, that affected their survival. Now we tend to dismiss the arts, to see them as superfluous, only for an elite. But if we are biologically predisposed to participate in artlike behavior, then we actually need the arts. Even--or perhaps especially--in our fast-paced, sophisticated modern lives, the arts encourage us to show that we care about important things.

Ellen Dissanayake is the author of Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and What Is Art For?

"Ellen Dissanayake is a pioneer on the borderland between science and the humanities; Art and Intimacy is an important contribution." -Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

"Draws on disciplines ranging from cultural anthropology and art history to evolutionary psychology and cognitive archaeology, with contributions from infant and developmental psychology and neuroscience....Well researched and interestingly written." -Choice

"Ellen Dissanayake gives us a deep and even moving investigation of art's capacity to touch every corner of our emotional lives." -Denis Dutton, Washington Post

Product Details

Dissanayake, Ellen
University of Washington Press
Anthropology/Art Theory
Art-Theory and Criticism
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began (McLellan Book) New Trade Paper
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Product details 268 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295991962 Reviews:
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