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The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art (Paperback)
  • The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art (Paperback)
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The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art (Paperback)

(author)
£15.99
Paperback 248 Pages / Published: 24/09/2015
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The Aesthetic Brain takes readers on an exciting journey through the world of beauty, pleasure, and art. Using the latest advances in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Anjan Chatterjee investigates how an aesthetic sense is etched into our minds, and explains why artistic concerns feature centrally in our lives. Along the way, Chatterjee addresses such fundamental questions as: What is beauty? Is it universal? How is beauty related to pleasure? What is art? Should art be beautiful? Do we have an instinct for art? Early on, Chatterjee probes the reasons why we find people, places, and even numbers beautiful, highlighting the important relationship between beauty and pleasure. Examining our pleasures allows him to reveal why we enjoy things like food, sex, and money, and how these rewards relate to our aesthetic encounters. Chatterjee's detailed discussion of beauty and pleasure equips readers to confront essential questions about the nature of art, the problems of defining it, and the challenges of interpreting its modern, non-traditional forms. Replete with facts, anecdotes, and analogies, this lively empirical guide to aesthetics offers scientific answers to fundamental questions without deflating the intrinsic wonders of beauty and art in an affordable paperback edition.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190262013
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 335 g
Dimensions: 217 x 142 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In this book, Dr Anjan Chatterjee. . . introduces us to the emerging field of neuroasthetics. . . In his cogent review of the long history of human artifact-making art, he carefully considers the many definitions of aesthetics, art, and beauty. . . The author comes to his persuasive conclusion after having carefully examined prehistoric art objects, the history of art, evolutionary biology, brain anatomy, and functional studies. * Roy G. Fitzgerald, MD, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 76, October 2015 *
Chatterjee is a neuroscientist, so readers might expect a mechanistic treatise on beauty constructed from PET scans and clinical trials. But he offers no simple marriage of roses and neurons. To begin filling in the blanks left by neuroscience, he draws from anthropology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and personal anecdotes. As Chatterjee reminds us, insight is the goal of science and art. His work succeeds by combining both toward a greater appreciation of the human experience." * Bryan Bello, Science News *
The Aesthetic Brain offers an intriguing overview of the neural and historical underpinnings of beauty and art. * Scientific American *
[Chatterjee] makes a compelling case that although art and beauty may seem nonessential, they epitomize our search for pleasure and meaning in life. * Scientific American Mind *

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