Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Denis Dutton: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty

Filmed Feb 2010; Posted Nov 2010 on TED
TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.


  1. What a sheer beauty.
    The movie. The lector. The speech. The art of it. The pure enjoyment of watching it.

    I can only imagine what was that first spam-comment ( deleted) - all about (?).

  2. Wow the dynamic drawings were amazing! The only thing I disagree with what they said is that beauty isn't in the mind of the beholder. It can be all those things described in the video and be in the mind of the beholder as a result of those things.

    It's the feeling of beauty, being felt by a beholder with a mind. It's as simple as that.

    We have genetics that give us the feeling of beauty, but we also have genetics that make us think as individuals with independent minds with our own likes and interests, but we also have genetics that makes most of us also like certain things like sex, food, etc..

    It's a survival benefit when a species has independent minds but likes certain things we all need to like to survive. Having independent minds are good when something out of the ordinary is needed, also it encourages exploration, open mindedness, creativity. All these things are very beneficial when it comes to natural selection.

  3. I'm not buying this.  Genetic variation is huge and cognative variation even more so.  a lot of that ancient culture is saved for preservation purposes, not because it's actually very good art by today's standards.  Also the whole "women push forward history" remark makes it clear that there's an underlying ideological view permiating his analysis (was there even a real analysis with this?).  It seems like this is trying to use art to push a particular view of art.

  4. Ugh ... unnecessary and I couldn't stand hearing his lips smack together, yuck! The artwork was amazing though!