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  1. On the emergence of aesthetic illusion : an evolutionary perspective

    This contribution outlines the evolutionary history of aesthetic illusion, drawing on both its biological and its cultural evolution. Unlike other 'biocultural' accounts of human behaviour, however, the present considerations strictly distinguish... more

     

    This contribution outlines the evolutionary history of aesthetic illusion, drawing on both its biological and its cultural evolution. Unlike other 'biocultural' accounts of human behaviour, however, the present considerations strictly distinguish between these two processes by resorting to the system-theoretical reformulation of evolutionary theory as offered by Niklas Luhmann. After introducing the theoretical framework, two core elements of aesthetic illusion are described as biological predispositions: the ability to become 'illuded' (as deriving from a biological adaptation for play behaviour in mammals) and the ability to take an interpretive, quasi-communicative attitude toward artifacts (which might be a by-product of the human capacity for symbolic cognition). Particular emphasis is given to the competency for cognitive metarepresentation which emerged together with play and other capacities in fundamentally intelligent animals, and which, in combination with the evolution of language in the human species, has developed into a complex cognitive apparatus called 'scope syntax' by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. In the last part of the present article several cultural processes are pointed out which have influenced the cultural concepts that, as a cognitive 'scope' tag, guide the experience of aesthetic illusion, the most important among them being the idea of autonomous art as brought about in Western modernity.

     

    Content notes: free
    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Part of a book
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-146-193-618-3
    DDC Categories: 800
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen