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Helen McDonald

Helen McDonald is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is author of Erotic Ambiguities: The Female Nude in Art (2001) and Patricia Piccinini: Nearly Beloved (2012).

Helen McDonald reviews ‘The Art Instinct: Beauty, pleasure and human evolution’ by Denis Dutton

October 2009, no. 315 01 October 2009
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder and taste is subjective, why is there often overwhelming agreement that a particular thing is beautiful? Are tastes shaped by brain structure, unconscious psychic drives, society or culture? For almost half a century, the idea of innate, universal and cross-cultural aesthetics has been hotly contested in art theory and cultural studies. Now Denis Dutton argu ... (read more)