The Emergence of the Modern Mind: An Evolutionary Perspective on Aesthetic Experience


On the basis of archaeological data and cognitive research, this article proposes an evolutionary story about aesthetic experience, arguing three intertwined theses. Aesthetic experience is adaptive; that is, it represents a specific implementation of the epistemic goal of knowing. It refunctionalizes antecedents and precursors: play and dreaming, technology and the ability to manipulate, and proto-aesthetic elements and aesthetic preferences. Mind and aesthetic experience co-evolve; that is, aesthetic experience requires mind reading and metacognition, and it helps them to reach their advanced metarepresentational architecture

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

42 (#273,973)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

Philosophical Aesthetics: A Naturalist Perspective.Laura Di Summa-Knoop - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 1 (2):191-207.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Exploring the Relationship Between Humor and Aesthetic Experience. Gordon - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (1):111-121.
Characterizing Aesthetic Experience.Haewan Lee - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 1:161-167.
Corpo, tecnologia, ambiente. Nuove tendenze naturalistiche dell'esperienza estetica.Antonino Pennisi & Francesco Parisi - 2013 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 6 (2):235-256.
The Aesthetic Experience.Derek Matravers - 2003 - British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2):158-174.
Arte e percezione. Alla ricerca della zona di evoluzione prossimale.Gianluca Consoli - 2013 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 6 (2):179-203.
Mieczysław Wallis: Experience and Value.Monika Bokiniec - 2009 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):75-96.
Category Independent Aesthetic Experience: The Case of Wine.David Sackris - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):111-120.
Aesthetic Insight: The Aesthetic Value of Damaged Environments.María José Alcaraz León - 2013 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):169-186.
Aesthetic Experience and Aesthetic Object.Roman Ingarden - 1960 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 21 (3):289-313.
Looking for Beauty in the Brain.Ethan Weed - 2008 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 45 (1):5-23.