Abstract Tralau (40/2016)

This paper explores the implications of evolutionary aesthetics for aesthetics as a normative venture. First, it develops the thesis that Aristotle’s cognitive theory of metaphor can be explained historically as originating in the perception of human beauty, mate choice, and thus sexual selection. Second, however, on the basis of a discussion of Homer’s image of waves as „the broad backs of the sea“ it is argued that such an empirical explanation of the evolutionary origins of the perception of beauty does not affect aesthetics as a normative discipline.