Art in global context: An evolutionary/functionalist perspective for the 21st century
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Regarding the arts as something peopledo — as behaviors, rather than the residue or artifacts of behavior — makes possible a theoretical grounding about their nature and importance, an endeavor that current anthropology of art has largely abandoned. A reconsideration of the suspect and largely discarded terms “functionalism” and “evolutionism” is presented in light of current evolutionary thinking. It is suggested that a contemporary reformulation of these concepts, illustrated by the author's Darwinian or “adaptationist” perspective on art, supports aims and claims of current anthropology of art, and contributes new focus and direction to its endeavors.
Keywordsarts aesthetics human nature functionalism evolutionism Darwinism adaptationism, ethology adaptive value of art
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