Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Quotation

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book started some ten years ago as a project on media history and aesthetics. It was supported by a generous eighteen-month Humboldt Fellowship from 2006 to 2007, which I spent both at the Zentrum für Literatur-und Kulturforschung (ZfL) in Berlin and at the Zentrum ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-30

In 2000, Ian Hacking, the renowned philosopher and historian of science, published a book titled The Social Construction of What? Written during the science wars of the 1990s and published a few years after the infamous Sokal hoax in 1996, ...

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1. Human Nature after Kant

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pp. 31-66

There are good reasons to begin our discussion of bioaesthetics with Kant, who published at a time when academic disciplines were still being established and the “two cultures” did not yet exist.1 Aesthetics, indeed, was a new academic discipline defined by the German philosopher ...

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2. Marxism and Biology

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pp. 67-102

“The left needs a new paradigm,” Peter Singer argued in his 1999 manifesto A Darwinian Left. That new paradigm should be evolutionary theory to help correct the mistaken belief “that there is no fixed human nature,” a belief that, according to Singer, continues to shape the left’s knee-jerk rejection of Darwinism. ...

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3. Cultural Evolution

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pp. 103-144

In the summer of 1975, Harvard University Press published Edward O. Wilson’s Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. 1 The book, and its author, became notorious soon thereafter, and Sociobiology remained a subject of intense academic and public debate for years to come. ...

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4. Evolutionary Aesthetics

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pp. 145-186

Adorno’s opening statement in Aesthetic Theory still rings true today, almost a half century after its posthumous publication in 1970. It remains a commonplace not only within art history, but across the humanities in general, that traditional efforts to answer the age-old question ...

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5. Neuroaesthetics

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pp. 187-226

On November 11, 2007, the New York Times ran a full-page article in its Op-Ed section titled “This Is Your Brain on Politics.”1 Cowritten by three neuroscientists, one public policy analyst, and three neuromarketing experts, the article summarized the test results of using fMRIs on twenty undecided voters ...

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Coda

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pp. 227-238

“The enemy is the organism.”1 The organism prevents the actualization of the body’s virtual power of becoming: “What a body can do is the nature and the limits of its power to be affected,” Deleuze famously stated in his book on Spinoza, and he added, ...

Notes

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pp. 239-290

Index

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pp. 291-305

Further Series Titles

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About the Author

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