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Picture of Pretty Ugly

Pretty Ugly

Why We Like Some Songs, Faces, Foods, Plays, Pictures, Poems, Etc., and Dislike Others

Author(s): Charles Maurer, Daphne Maurer

Book Description

People are chemical machines, yet we (and some other animals) develop a sense of beauty. Why and how did it evolve? How is it formed?

This book answers these questions from the perspective of scientists with deep knowledge of the arts. It interweaves experimental sciences with the histories of art, architecture, music, dance, speech, literature, and food.

Although we perceive each of our senses to be dramatically different, the authors show them all to be similar under the hood—similar in how they function and in how they shape our aesthetic experience.

The authors cover many fields, and do not assume the reader has any special knowledge or expertise. They avoid jargon, equations and formulae, and begin every discussion at an introductory level.

However, introductory does not mean elementary. This is a broad knife that cuts deep.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-3860-3
ISBN-10: 1-5275-3860-5
Date of Publication: 01/11/2019
Pages / Size: 327 / A5
Price: £72.99


Charles Maurer is a free-lance writer who specializes in science and technology. He reads academic literature in many areas, and has professional skills in graphic design and commercial photography.

Daphne Maurer is an experimental psychologist who studies the development of vision. She is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University, Canada, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Their previous book, The World of the Newborn, won the Book Award of the American Psychological Association.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4829-9
ISBN-10: 1-5275-4829-5
Date of Publication: 01/06/2020
Pages / Size: 327 / A5
Price: £36.99