My own work uses a specifically ethological approach that is concerned with artistic behavior more than with finished works such as stories or novels or the qualitative features that make these better or worse than each other. The most problematic part of the article is the section on the adaptive function of literature, which raises many thorny questions and problems.
In addition to that, however, we would have to ask for the ultimate cause of that pleasure. Natural selection is a driving, if not the driving, force in evolutionary theory.
Psychological Science7, — Psychological Science, 7 6— Overall, males displayed greater and more consistent physiological signs of jealousy and distress. View author publications. New York: Guilford Press.
Carroll proceeds on the assumption that there is no real barrier between the sciences and humanities, no wall or moat or prophylactic of any kind that blocks the application of scientific tools to humanities questions. This is one consequence of the human imagination.
I share and resonate with the view that evolutionary literary analysis should not shy away from the quantitative and testable and go beyond the discursive. Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory. Pleasure is an inbuilt go-mechanism aimed at motivating fitness-enhancing activities, just as pain is an inbuilt fitness-enhancing avoidance-and-stop-mechanism see Grodal, Moving Pictures.
Humanities questions are often deeply complex as are questions in the life and social sciences , but they are not irreducibly complex. Some of this same limitation may be perceived in other modern narrative media shared by most Western cultures. A focus on the narrative form of literature provides two important linkages for literary Darwinism: one, an immediate linkage with the orienting Darwinian narrative of life; the other, a connection between a cultural form and the pervasive environmental condition of causally connected events.
Through narratives, people learn what is expected of them and how to behave in new situations in accordance with societal norms. To build bridges between the sciences and the humanities is a vital project if the humanities are to survive as a scholarly endeavor.