Bowerbirds, art and aesthetics : are bowerbirds artists and do they have an aesthetic sense?
journal contributionposted on 2012-05-01, 00:00 authored by John EndlerJohn Endler
Male bowerbirds create and decorate a structure called a bower which serves only to attract females for mating, and females visit and choose one among many bower owners before deciding which male to mate with. Is what they do art, and do they have an aesthetic sense? I propose operational definitions of art, judgement, and an aesthetic sense which depend upon communication theory which allow one to get explicit answers to this question. By these definitions Great Bowerbirds are artists, judge art, and therefore have an aesthetic sense.