Vol. 6 No. 2 (2013): Aesthetics and Evolutionism: Requirements, Perspectives, Issues

Can Science Lead Us to a Definition of Art?

Published December 29, 2013
  • evolutionary aesthetics,
  • Denis Dutton,
  • art,
  • cross-cultural aesthetics
How to Cite
Coe, K. (2013). Can Science Lead Us to a Definition of Art?. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 6(2), 153-177. https://doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-13775


For approximately two thousand years, human thinkers have been attempting to define a  behaviour, referred to as art, that humans have been practicing for tens of thousands of  years.  Defining this term has proved to be so difficult that Munro (1949: 5) to claim that the arts “are too intangible and changing to be defined or classified.” In this paper a 12-property cluster theory proposed by Denis Dutton is critically evaluated not in light of how well it fits with current thinking in aesthetics, but in light of its scientific strength and its usefulness for examining art across cultures.


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