Universal language

The role of art in our lives

Art, in all its diverse manifestations, from storytelling to picture-making, from singing and dancing to poetry, is as distinctive and universal an activity of the human mind as language. It is, in essence, a way of thinking about the world, of shaping experience as it is felt to be and reshaping it as it could be, that long predates the development of rational reflection. Stories have been told for thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands; philosophical and scientific thought begins, for practical purposes, around 2500 years ago.

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Published in February 2014 no. 358

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