In this Dan Dennett keynote the cognitive scientist and philosopher uses evolutionary models to discuss why humans find certain things sweet, sexy, cute and funny.
Using cake and one's sweet tooth as an example Dennett argues that the desire for sugar comes out of the human's need for high energy food. Sweetness was born with the wiring that evolved in people's brain to associate delicacies with sweet.
As for super models, Dan Dennet makes the case that as humans evolved and shed the layer of hair that covers a monkey's body, that transition created a shift in the mind to associate lack of hair (waxed legs) with attraction. As for babies, humans need to find their offspring attractive or else the maternal instincts would not be as solidified. If babies in general looked like Mr. Potato head, humans would associate that image with cute. Evolution rather than cultural opinion determines what humans find appealing and attractive.
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Dan Dennett Keynotes
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