Ellen Dissanayake

Author and Lecturer

Affiliate Professor
School of Music
University of Washington

Photograph by Ekkehart Malotki

Photograph by Ekkehart Malotki


Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why

1992  New York: Free Press.

Homo Aestheticus Where Art Comes From and Why

(Reprinted in paperback, University of Washington Press, December 1995; second paperback printing 1996; third paperback printing 1999; fourth paperback printing 2004).  Selection of Readers Subscription and Natural Science Book Clubs, 1996.  Chinese translation and publication 2003 (Beijing: Commercial Press); Korean translation and publication, 2009 (Seoul, WisdomHouse Publishing Co.).


This long and complex text serves to substantiate, from a number of academic perspectives, what amounts to a quite straightforward and simple conclusion. Art is a normal and necessary behavior of human beings that like other common and universal human occupations and preoccupations such as talking, working, exercising, playing, socializing, learning, loving, and caring should be recognized, encouraged, and developed in everyone
p. 225, Homo Aestheticus