CRF Blog

Denis Dutton (1944–2010)

Philosopher Denis Dutton died in December. He was best known for his Arts & Letters Daily blog, an aggregation of the best Internet posts on the arts, literature, and philosophy. This is truly a remarkable site, which changes daily, and it will continue (as it is currently owned by the Chronicle for Higher Education). Dutton never considered it a blog, “just a daily reading list with attitude.”

A skeptic on climate change (and many other things), Dutton also founded Climate Debate Daily, a site that offers links to articles supporting and challenging the idea of global climate change.

Dutton received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCSB. He taught at the University of Michigan and for the last 25 years at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

For most of his career, his main interest was aesthetics. In 2009 he published The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, & Human Evolution, a book linking evolution to human aesthetics. (Read the New York Times’ review of the book.) The video below is an animated TED Talk that Dutton gave on the subject.

Dutton’s web site (this is a different site from the others mentioned above) has many of his essays, book reviews, journalism, and other information.