Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog #5

Although I find the video we watched in class today to be somewhat lacking in the completeness of its argument, it raised some good questions nonetheless. That being said, I don't know if I agree that aesthetic responses to what is beautiful are "pre-programmed" into our genetic code. The evidence for this lies in the fact that there are many different perceptions of what is beautiful. For instance, some people are repulsed by urban landscapes teeming with industry, while others immerse themselves in it and find it aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, some people couldn't be dragged to the country kicking and screaming because they feel it's too far removed from civilization and are unable to appreciate the serenity that this kind of environment can offer. If the predisposition to view things as beautiful was innate, I feel like there would be more commonality.

While I agree with science on the grounds that one must have a certain level of scientific knowledge in order to be able to fully appreciate the beauty that a landscape has to offer, I do not agree that recognizing the landscape as beautiful is an evolutionary trait. Evolution may have played a role, but in the grand scheme of things I think there is much more to the story. Nevertheless, the argument was quite compelling.

1 comment:

  1. Good points. One question that needs to be addressed is the evidence for universal, cross-cultural, aesthetic preferences. Dutton deals with this question in more detail in his book.