April 12, 2009

NO MAN IS A COPERNICAN:

Art for evolution's sake: Our desire to create may have helped us survive: a review of The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton (Matthew Battles
April 12, 2009 )

Fiction, it has been argued, also serves as an efficient archive of cultural knowledge; Eric Havelock famously argued that for nonliterate peoples, epics like the "Iliad" constitute a kind of oral encyclopedia. Perhaps more than its tactical or archival capacities, however, fiction provides a unique platform for social and psychological reasoning. "The inner psychological experience of one's fellows, the shared emotional and intellectual world of the tribe," Dutton writes, is the final field upon which fiction plays - and perhaps its ultimate evolutionary raison d'etre as well.

And, after all, just because psychological musing is unique to Man doesn't mean it isn't a Darwinian imperative.



Posted by Orrin Judd at April 12, 2009 6:13 AM
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