The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal - Chapter 9, Animal Origins of Art Summary & Analysis

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Art is generally considered uniquely human, but the very definition of art is somewhat vague. To qualify an object as art, the author suggests that it must fulfill three qualities - it must be non-utilitarian (that is, serve no survival function); it must be used primarily for aesthetic pleasure; and it must be transmitted by learning and not genetics. With this definition, does art remain uniquely human?

The artistic endeavors of several chimpanzees and an elephant are presented and considered. The art produced was determined by professional artists to be of high artistic value, and the animal art has sold consistently - yet it is completely non-utilitarian. Thus, the first criterion is not uniquely human.

Bower birds are a group of smallish birds in New Guinea that build bowers - fairly large houses - and decorate them...

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This section contains 438 words
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