Faculty of Arts

PHIL 732

Philosophy of the Arts 2

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for PHIL 732.


This course considers debates about the connections between aesthetics, the philosophy of art, and human evolution.

Many theories of art are explored in depth. These include theories that group the arts and regard them as together serving some general adaptive function, that present particular art forms each as adaptive in their own distinctive fashion, that attempt to explain the origins of art, that argue that art is not itself adaptive but is a by-product of behaviours or systems that are and that analyse art as a technology not closely connected to evolved behaviours.

As well as philosophical literature on aesthetics and the philosophy of art, reference will be made to work in other disciplines, such as evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, evolution theory, philosophy of biology and art-based disciplines.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Distinguished Professor Stephen Davies


Stephen Davies, The Artful Species, Oxford University Press, 2012. Paperback version.

Other readings will be supplied.


PHIL 732: 15.0 points

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