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Influential Media Personality To Close Popular Lecture Series

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"Denis Dutton is a visionary," claimed renowned Harvard psychologist Stephen Pinker in his introduction to A Talk with Denis Dutton earlier this year. Professor Denis Dutton will give the final lecture, "The Art Instinct - Why We Evolved to Love Beauty", in the Liggins Institute's 2009 public lecture series on Wednesday 07 October at 6pm in the Robb Lecture Theatre at The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical Sciences 85 Park Road Grafton.

Dutton teaches the philosophy of art at The University of Canterbury and is founder and editor of the highly regarded web publication, Arts & Letters Daily ( - described by Pinker as "more addictive than crack cocaine."

Dutton is at the forefront of a movement to bridge the historical, philosophical divide between science, the humanities and the arts. He believes that, like many other aspects of our lives, our artistic interests and preferences are affected by our genetic history.

"Charles Darwin's theory of evolution explains why, from Homer of the Iliad to the Homer of The Simpsons, from the Lascaux caves to Carnegie Hall, human beings are enchanted by the arts," says Dutton.

Denis Dutton is author of The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (Oxford University Press, 2009), widely regarded as the most important work of aesthetic theory of the new century. Newsweek advised: "Read Dutton's book: his masterful knowledge of art and his compelling prose make it a thing of beauty."

Time magazine named him as one of "the most influential media personalities in the world." Appearing alongside leading media personalities, he has provoked and entertained audiences around the world. Next month he will discuss The Art Instinct with John Cleese at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

The Seasons of Life series is an established part if the Liggins Institute's programme to engage with its community to discuss issues which affect our health and society. This is the fifth and final lecture in this year's series, which has focused on aspects of Man's evolution - from the origins of the human body plan to our instinctive love of art. The early evening lectures are designed for non-scientific audiences and questions are welcomed. They are free and open to the public but, due to their increasing popularity, bookings are recommended.

The Art Instinct - why we evolved to love beauty Date: 07 October 2009 Time: 6-7pm Venue: Robb Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Medical Sciences 85 Park Road Grafton. Bookings and information:, telephone (09) 303 5972

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