Sunday, June 26, 2016

Arts in Decline?

Leading arts professors keep saying so. Pinker has a theory why:

The dominant theories of elite art and criticism in the twentieth century grew out of a militant denial of human nature. One legacy is ugly, baffling, and insulting art. The other is pretentious and unintelligible scholarship. And they’re surprised that people are staying away in droves?

Pinker, Steven. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (p. 416). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

One trouble, he says, is that their art is based on a discredited theory of human perception, based on - you may have already guessed - the idea of the mind as a blank slate, instead of one with lots of built in categories including detectors for pretentious bullshit. OK, he didn't actually say the very last bit, but I think he at least hinted at it.