Cuteness as a Product of Natural Selection

Abstract
This is a more detailed version of my "On 'Cuteness'", which appeared in the British Journal of Aesthetics in April 1992. For John Morreall, cuteness is an abstract general attribute of infants that causes adults to want to care for them (or which is the reason, or at least important reason, for such solicitousness). I shall try to show, in what follows, that this is, if not an altogether fallacious way of explaining the matter, at least an extremely misleading one. As it stands, in particular, it is too easy to infer from Morreall's line of reasoning 1) that infants in general might conceivably never have developed cuteness, and 2) that infants, because of this deficiency, would then not be cared for as adequately by their parents. An equally wrong further implication, which further helps to express my difficulty with Morreall's formulation of the matter, would be that if baby spiders (for example) had happened to have the abstract general characteristic called 'cuteness', while human children did not have it, then human adults would have been more inclined to care for baby spiders than for baby humans. It is to avoid such oddities as these that, it seems to me, a further consideration of the problem is warranted.
Keywords cuteness  perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Download options
Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
On ‘Cuteness’.John T. Sanders - 1992 - British Journal of Aesthetics 32 (2):162-165.
The Contingency of Cuteness: A Reply to Sanders.John Morreall - 1993 - British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (3):283-285.
Cuteness.John Morreall - 1991 - British Journal of Aesthetics 31 (1):39-47.
Aldrich and Aesthetic Perception.John S. Morreall - 1977 - British Journal of Aesthetics 17 (3):275-280.
Evolution, Wisconsin Style: Selection and the Explanation of Individual Traits.M. Matthen - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):143-150.
A More Pluralist Typology of Selection Processes.Bence Nanay - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):547-548.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-10-11

Total downloads

158 ( #29,412 of 2,168,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #29,976 of 2,168,955 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums