Explaining the Aesthetic Dimension of Nature

It may seem intuitive, in evolutionary terms, why we would find natural settings attractive and appealing. The biologist Edward O. Wilson argued that humans possess a trait called biophilia (fondness for nature, or an innate tendency to seek connections and affiliations with nature and other forms of life), which he argued makes sense evolutionarily. It…

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Diet and the Evolution of the Human Brain

The evolution of the human brain has always been shrouded in mystery. This is because the organ tripled in size over the course of nearly seven million years, a pace of evolution that is unheard of in the natural world. Most of this growth occurred in the past two million years, during which time the…

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Schopenhauer on Sex and Romantic Love

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer is renowned for his uncompromising pessimism. His pessimistic worldview is based on his metaphysics, which he expounds in his seminal work The World as Will and Representation (1818). What he believes is true about the fundamental nature of reality has influenced his opinions on many disparate matters, including psychology, ethics,…

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What Makes a Theory ‘Scientific’?

There are all kinds of ‘theories’ that exist, from the philosophical to the conspiratorial – the term ‘theory’ is also used colloquially to refer to something that may be more accurately called a hypothesis, an idea not yet confirmed. Scientific theories, however, are not mere speculations about what the world is like, but frameworks that…

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The Evolutionary Origins of Music

Music is universal. It is found in all cultures and societies, and it is something which humans seem compelled to create. Even indigenous tribes who are completely cut off from the civilised world will feel the urge to create music, whether it is through drumming, chanting, the use of full-fledged instruments, or a combination of…

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