The Adaptive Function of the Arts: Alternative Evolutionary Hypotheses

Aus de_evolutionary_art_org
Wechseln zu: Navigation, Suche


Joseph Carroll: The Adaptive Function of the Arts: Alternative Evolutionary Hypotheses. In: Carsten Gansel, Dirk Vanderbeke (eds.): Literature und Evolution. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012. 50-63.



I. Massive Modularity vs. Cognitive Flexibility

Evolutionists insist that genes constrain and direct human behavior. Cultural constructivists counter that culture, embodied in the arts, shapes human experience. Both these claims are true, but some evolutionists and some cultur- al constructivists have mistakenly regarded them as mutually exclusive (cf. Wilson 2007, pp. 20–37). Some evolutionists have either ignored the arts or tried to explain them away as epiphenomenal to the basic processes of life. Many cultural constructivists, in contrast, have sought to collapse biology into culture, eliminating “human nature” and thus turning culture into a first cause or unmoved mover. In the past few years, evolutionists in both the sciences and the humanities have broken through this impasse, arguing that the imagination is a functional part of the adapted mind. These new ideas revise an earlier model of human cognitive evolution – a model most closely associated with the earliest phase of “evolutionary psychology” (EP) as a specific school within the evolutionary human sciences. Revising that model makes it possible for us now to fully integrate the evolutionary human sciences and the study of the arts.

Extended Abstract


Used References

Baumeister, Roy F., The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005.

Bickerton, Derek, Language and Species, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

–, “Foraging versus Social Intelligence in the Evolution of Protolanguage,” in: The Tran- sition to Language, ed. by Alison Wray, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000, pp. 207–225.

–, “From Protolanguage to Language,” in: The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens, ed. by T. J. Crow, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002, pp. 103–120.

Boehm, Christopher, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior, Cam- bridge: Harvard UP, 1999.

Boyd, Brian, “Evolutionary Theories of Art,” in: The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative, ed. by Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson, Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2005, pp. 147–176.

–, On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction, Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2009. Brown, Donald E., Human Universals, Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1991.

Carroll, Joseph, Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature, and Literature, New York: Routledge, 2004.

–, “The Human Revolution and the Adaptive Function of Literature,” in: Philosophy and Literature 30 (2006), pp. 33–49.

–, “An Evolutionary Paradigm for Literary Study,” in: Style 42 (2008), pp. 103–135 (= 2008a).

–, “2008. Rejoinder,” in: Style 42 (2008), pp. 309–412 (= 2008b).

Cochran, G. / H. Harpending, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Hu- man Evolution, New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Cosmides, Leda / John Tooby / Jerome Barkow, “Introduction: Evolutionary Psychol- ogy and Conceptual Integration,” in: The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, ed. by J. Barkow, L. Cosmides, and J. Tooby, New York: Oxford UP, 1992, pp. 3–15.

Damasio, Antonio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, New York: G. P. Putnam, 1994.

Deacon, Terrence W., The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain, New York: Norton, 1997.

Dissanayake, Ellen, Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began, Seattle: University of Washing- ton Press, 2000.

–, “What Art Is and Does: An Overview of Contemporary Evolutionary Hypotheses,” in: Evolutionary and Neurocognitive Approaches to Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, ed. by Colin Martindale, Paul Locher, and Vladimir M. Petrov. Amityville, NY: Baywood, 2007, pp. 1–14.

Dutton, Denis, The Art Instinct, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

Flinn, M. V. / D. Geary / C. V. Ward, “Ecological Dominance, Social Competition, and Coalitionary Arms Races: Why Humans Evolved Extraordinary Intelligence,” in: Evolution and Human Behavior 26 (2005), pp. 10–46.

Foley, Robert, “The Adaptive Legacy of Human Evolution: A Search for the Environ- ment of Evolutionary Adaptedness,” in: Evolutionary Anthropology 4 (2005), pp. 194– 203.

Geary, David C., The Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence, Washington, D. C.: APA, 2005.

Hawkins, J. / S. Blakeslee, On Intelligence, New York: Henry Holt, 2004.

Henshilwood, C. S. / C. W. Marean, “The Origin of Modern Human Behavior: Critique of the Models and Their Test Implications,” in: Current Anthropology 44 (2003), pp. 627–651.

Irons, William, “Adaptively Relevant Environments versus the Environment of Evolu- tionary Adaptedness,” in: Evolutionary Anthropology 6 (1998), pp. 194–204.

Johnson, J. A. / J. Carroll / J. Gottschall / D. J. Kruger, “Hierarchy in the Library: Ega- litarian Dynamics in Victorian Novels,” in: Evolutionary Psychology 6 (2008), pp. 715– 738.

Kaplan, H. / K. Hill / J. B. Lancaster / A. M. Hurtado, “A Theory of Human Life History Evolution: Diet, Intelligence, and Longevity,” in: Evolutionary Anthropology 9 (2000), pp. 156–185.

Klein, R. G. / B. Elgar, The Dawn of Human Culture, New York: Wiley, 2002.

MacDonald, Kevin B., “A Perspective on Darwinian Psychology: The Importance of Domain-general Mechanisms, Plasticity, and Individual Differences,” in: Ethology and Sociobiology 12 (1990), pp. 449–480.

McBrearty, S. / A. S. Brooks, “The Revolution That Wasn’t: A New Interpretation of the Origin of Modern Human Behavior,” in: Journal of Human Evolution 39 (2000), pp. 453–563.

Mellars, Paul, “Symbolism, Language, and the Neanderthal Mind,” in: Modelling the Early Human Mind, ed. by Paul Mellars and Kathleen Gibson, Cambridge: The MacDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 1996, pp. 15–32.

Mellars, P. / K. Boyle / O. Bar-Yosef / C. Stringer (eds.), Rethinking the Human Revolu- tion: New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origin and Dispersal of Modern Hu- mans, Exeter, UK: MacDonald Institute, 2007.

Mellars, P. / C. Stringer (eds.), The Human Revolution: Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989.

Mithen, Steven, The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion, and Science, London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

–, “The Evolution of Imagination: An Archaeological Perspective,” in: SubStance 30 (2001), pp. 28–54.

Panksepp, J. / J. B. Panksepp, “The Seven Sins of Evolutionary Psychology,” in: Evolu- tion and Cognition 6 (2000), pp. 108–131.

Pinker, Steven, How the Mind Works, New York: W. W. Norton, 1997.

–, “Toward a Consilient Study of Literature,” in: Philosophy and Literature 31 (2007), pp. 162–178.

Potts, Rick, Humanity’s Descent: The Consequences of Ecological Instability, New York: William Morrow, 1996.

Richerson, P. J. / R. Boyd, Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Salmon, C. / D. Symons, “Slash Fiction and Human Mating Psychology,” in: Journal of Sex Research 41 (2004), pp. 94–100.

Scalise-Sugiyama, Michelle, “Reverse-engineering Narrative: Evidence of Special De- sign,” in: The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative, ed. by Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson, Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2005, pp. 177– 196.

Smail, Daniel Lord, On Deep History and the Brain, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

Sterelny, Kim, Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition, Oxford: Ox- ford UP, 2003.

Tooby, J. / L. Cosmides, “The Psychological Foundations of Culture,” in: The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, ed. by Jerome H. Barkow, L. Cosmides, and J. Tooby, New York: Oxford UP, 1992, pp. 19–136.

–, “Does Beauty Build Adapted Minds? Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Aesthetics, Fiction, and the Arts,” in: SubStance 30 (2001), pp. 6–27.

Wade, Nicholas, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors, New York: Penguin, 2006.

Wilson, David Sloan, “Evolutionary Social Constructivism,” in: The Literary Animal: Evo- lution and the Nature of Narrative, ed. by Jonathan Gottschall and D. S. Wilson, Evan- ston: Northwestern UP, 2005, pp. 20–37.

–, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think about Our Lives, New York: Delacorte, 2007.

Wilson, Edward O., Consilience: The unity of Knowledge, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.


Full Text

intern file

Sonstige Links