Hist Philos Life Sci 2021 Apr 14;43(2):57. Epub 2021 Apr 14.
IAS-Research - Centre for Life, Mind and Society. Philosophy Department, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián, Spain.
This body of work is motivated by an apparent contradiction between, on the one hand, Darwin's testimony in his autobiographical text about a supposed perceptual colour blindness before the aesthetic magnificence of natural landscapes, and, on the other hand, the last paragraph of On the Origin of Species, where he claims to perceive the forms of nature as beautiful and wonderful. My aim is to delve into the essence of the Darwinian perception of beauty in the context of the Weberian concept of "disenchantment of the world", assumed as a possible conceptual axis that enables the unravelling of the core of this contrast of perceptions. In acknowledging the theory of evolution as one of the most prominent scientific theories likely to have contributed to disenchantment, a number of questions arise: Is disenchantment compatible with aesthetic experience and sensibility before natural beauty? Was it Darwin's disenchanted conception of the world that led him to believe he was colour blind? To answer these questions, a computer-assisted semantic analysis of lexical frequency and variability, most especially focused on aesthetic-emotional and religious or spiritual adverbs and adjectives, has been undertaken across the six editions of The Origin. Read More