Readership: Readers interested in art and human nature, from any academic background.
Stephen Davies, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Stephen Davies teaches philosophy at the University of Auckland. He writes mainly about aesthetics and the philosophy of art, and has written extensively on the definition of art, the ontological character of artworks, cross-cultural aesthetics, the expression of emotion in art, and the interpretation and evaluation of art. His books include Musical Works and Performances (Clarendon, 2001), Themes in the Philosophy of Music (OUP, 2003), The Philosophy of Art (Blackwell, 2006), Philosophical Perspectives on Art (OUP, 2007), and Musical Understandings (OUP, 2011).
"this book will appeal to those interested in a well-argued, multidisciplinary examination of the role of art in human evolution." - J. R. Couch, CHOICE
"Davies book represents a rare achievement of lucid explanation and fair-minded analysis in an interdisciplinary field too often entrenched within dogmatic camps." - Denny Kinlaw, Transpositions
"In a field dense with hobby-horses and portentous musings, philosopher Stephen Davies does sterling work for clarity as he outlines the concepts, the problems and the difficulties with all the available explanations." - Marek Kohn, The Independent
"comprehensive, well-organized, and cogently argued" - Troy Jollimore, Boston
"This spare and elegant treatise by philosopher of aesthetics Stephen Davies posits that art is part of human nature, and is tied in a number of ways to human evolution." - Nature
Introduction to Part One
1: The aesthetic
2: The nature of art
3: The theory of evolution
4: How might the aesthetic, art, and evolution be related?
Introduction to Part Two - The Aesthetic
5: Humans' aesthetic appreciation of nonhuman animals
6: Landscape aesthetics
7: The aesthetics of human beauty
Introduction to Part Three - The Arts
8: General theories of art as an adaptation and the origins of art
9: Art as a spandrel
10: Art as a technology
11: Arts as adaptations
Useful links from the author Blog for The Artful Species Author webpage