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Eng Book- Art and Beauty- Download Free PDF


FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ESSAY, I shall define art as things that people do that they don't
absolutely have to do in order to survive. "Work," wrote Mark Twain, "consists of whatever a body is
obliged to do . . . Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." (2) Art is not precisely play,
though as I shall discuss below, it is indeed related to play.
We are distinguished from the beasts of the field as much by symbolic language as the restless desire to
alter, decorate, personalize and fiddle with our bodies and environment. (3) Indeed, evidence for art and
artifact substantially antedates evidence for symbolic language, and is thought to be an index of brain
Near as can be told, as long as we have been people in any true sense, we have filled our lives with
things that have had no immediate or obvious survival benefit. If art in its myriad manifestations has
been around so long, is universal and highly valued, it may be that there is some good reason for it. If so,
what might that be?
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