Category Archives: Beauty

On Beauty and Classroom Teaching

Beauty is why we teach, and how we learn. I remember reading the philosopher Michel Foucault for the first time, and finding his ideas so challenging and compelling — so beautiful, really, in their explanatory power — that I could … Continue reading

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How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

The extravagant splendor of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone — so how did it come to be? Numerous species have conspicuous, metabolically costly and physically burdensome sexual ornaments, as biologists call them. Think of the … Continue reading

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Why did we Evolve to Appreciate Beauty?

The pleasure we take in beauty must have been shaped by evolution — but what adaptive advantage did it give us? In every culture on Earth, people decorate their possessions and themselves, and enjoy visual art. They stare in awe … Continue reading

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Do Other Animals Make Music, or Just Sounds?

The question in the title of this post involves not one but two enigmas: Artistic merit is an abstract and slippery concept, and assigning intention to the actions of other species is a perpetual challenge. Thus, the question invites various, … Continue reading

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