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DOES ART BRING US TOGETHER? AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH TO THE EVOLUTIONARY AESTHETICS OF ELLEN DISSANAYAKE

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Title: DOES ART BRING US TOGETHER? AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH TO THE EVOLUTIONARY AESTHETICS OF ELLEN DISSANAYAKE
Author: Fullerton, Brady; Fullerton, Brady
Department: Department of Philosophy
Program: Philosophy
Advisor: Dedrick, DonDedrick, Don
Abstract: This thesis examines criticism of Ellen Dissanyake’s evolutionary account of art. In addition to offering theoretical responses to criticism leveled against her, an alternative formulation of her position is developed and subjected to empirical analysis. The implicit claim that “Ritual art promotes group cohesion” is subjected to a cross cultural analysis. A theoretical definition of ritual art is developed and a coding practice is proposed and tested using the database of SCCS cases in the eHRAF. Theoretical arguments are developed for understanding group cohesion in certain variables. These proxies are then correlated with ritual art. When all proxies for group cohesion are considered results are mixed. However, numerous variables that measure internal violence indicate significant correlations supportive of Dissanayake’s position. Ultimately, the statistical results, along with theoretical arguments, call for a reassessment of Dissanayake’s work. Furthermore, the project exposes important weaknesses in use of the term “group cohesion.”
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9978
Date: 2016-08
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada