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Evolutionary perspectives on imaginative culture

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  • Joseph Carroll, University of Missouri at St. Louis, United States
  • Mathias Clasen (Editor)
  • Emelie Jonsson, Tromsø Universitet, Norway

This pioneering volume offers an expansive introduction to the relatively new field of evolutionary studies in imaginative culture. Contributors from psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and the humanities probe the evolved human imagination and its artefacts. The book forcefully demonstrates that imagination is part of human nature. Contributors explore imaginative culture in seven main areas: 1. Imagination: Evolution, Mechanisms and Functions 2. Myth and Religion 3. Aesthetic Theory 4. Music 5. Visual and Plastic Arts 6. Video Games and Films 7. Oral Narratives and Literature Evolutionary Perspectives on Imaginative Culture widens the scope of evolutionary cultural theory to include much of what “culture” means in common usage. The contributors aim to convince scholars in both the humanities and the evolutionary human sciences that biology and imaginative culture are intimately intertwined. The contributors illuminate this broad theoretical argument with comprehensive insights into religion, ideology, personal identity, and many particular works of art, music, literature, film, and digital media. The chapters “Imagination, the Brain’s Default Mode Network, and Imaginative Verbal Artifacts” and “The Role of Aesthetic Style in Alleviating Anxiety About the Future” are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationCham
Number of pages423
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-46189-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-46190-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Darwinism, cultural evolution, cultural transmission, culture, culture theory, evolution, human evolution, human nature, imagination, imaginative culture

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