Ellen Dissanayake, University of Washington, School of Music, Department Member. Studies Evolutionary Origins and Functions of the Arts, Mother-infant. Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar, has written three books on art, most recently, Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began. Her previous book, Homo. ELLEN DISSANAYAKE. University of Washington. When contemporary philosophers of art make the radical and rather astonishing statement that art has existed.

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Nearly a half-century after she began asking those questions, Dissanayake, an affiliate professor in the University of Washington’s School of Music, is still trying to answer them. In particular she argues that art makes things special, with evolutionary and social purpose, and has done so for long before dissanayxke two-century old specialisation and abstract theorising of art.

Anthropology and Social Anthropology.

Its designs did more than decorate or identify clan ownership; their magic made the weapon more likely to succeed in battle, which explained the meticulous care with which they were incised in the wood. I think if you have dissajayake love or an aptitude and an interest in one or another art—and if you marvel at the natural world and the fact that we are biological creatures who emerged from that world—and if you find grandeur or transcendence in that knowledge, then that would enrich your experience that we are art-making creatures.

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When I offer to meet Dissanayake at the Seattle Art Museum-an appropriate place to chat, I had thought-she dismisses the idea. In Homo Aestheticuspaperback, Dissanayake argues that art was central to the emergence, adaptation and survival of the human species, that aesthetic ability is innate in every human being, and that art is a need as fundamental to our species as food, warmth or shelter.

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Questions that I address include: The beauty of the club emerged from a whole way of life. She’s known for the breadth and depth of her evidence, and the examples in Homo Aestheticus are typical.

Ellen Dissanayake, What Is Art for? – PhilPapers

Ellen Dissanayake’s Evolutionary Aesthetic. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 10 2: She has no tenure or permanent appointment. Fossils and elen are concrete evidence of the past. It is claimed that art experiences are physically pleasurable, and distinctively so because one appreciates how the creators of art have shaped the raw materials.

University of Washington Press. Please discuss further on the talk page. I have a problem with the archaeological establishment that looks back in time at early petroglyphs—from long before those beautiful cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet.

Ellen Dissanayake

That explains why children are predisposed to do them and why we do them. It is co-authored with Ekkehart Malotki, who provides outstanding color images of geometric rock art and half the chapters.

Her face peeks out from behind a parted curtain of brown bobbed hair. I felt very much like I belonged to Sri Lankan society. When Dissanayake mentioned the book’s availability to Naomi Pascal, the UW Press editor snapped up the rights and brought Homo Aestheticus back into print in a paperback edition, which has gone through four printings and two foreign translations.

When What Is Art For? Foreward to edited volume Publisher: It was no longer a pastime. Now, we have the neurobiology that shows that. It is born wanting that kind of behaviour and soliciting it from the adult. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Human Nature-an Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective. The earliest petroglyphs are non-representational.

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This page was last edited on 19 Septemberat That is to say, art evolved to make certain events, tentatively important for survival or social dissznayake, more salient, pleasurable, and memorable. Art as a Human Behavior: Most of our friends were Sri Lankan, and my dissanagake had grown up in a feudal kind of village. She trained for that peculiarly-midcentury career, faculty wife.

Most recently, neuroscientists talk about perceptual primitives. The magazine is published by the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc.

What Is Art For?

In Kandy, she immersed herself in the arts of Sri Lanka and enjoyed inside access to the country’s ancient customs. Critics and admirers have described her ideas as audacious, startling and brave.

History of Western Philosophy.

It made me realize that art probably evolved from ceremonies. Pascal, a legend in the world of academic publishing, retired in after a year career at UW Press. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 4: Views Read Edit View history.

What she saw there sparked her next breakthrough. Ellen Dissanayake – As an accomplished musician with a master’s degree in art history, she wondered about the role of art in human evolution.

Those who wish to understand art in its broadest sense, as a universal human endowment, need to go beyond modern Western elitist notions that disregard other cultures and ignore the human species’ four-million-year evolutionary history. Ellen Dissanayake, photographed Jan.

Dissanayake continues to follow new ideas wherever they take her.