Biological accounts of art typically start with evolutionary, psychological or neurobiological theories. These approaches might be able to explain many of the similarities we see in art behaviors within and across human populations, but they don't obviously explain the differences we also see. Nor do they give us guidance on how we should engage with art, or the conceptual basis for art. A more comprehensive framework, based also on the ecology of art and how art behaviors get expressed in engineered niches, can help us better understand the full range of art behaviors, their normativity and conceptual basis.
Richard A. Richards, University of Alabama
1. What is art?
2. Naturalism and its discontents
3. The evolutionary framework
4. The psychology and neurobiology of art
5. The ecology of art