Steven Pinker on music as a supernormal stimulus
A beautiful episode of “The Genius of Charles Darwin” (UK Channel 4 Television, 2008), in which Richard Dawkins interviews Steven Pinker. In the interview talks mainly about evolutionary psychology. In the words of Henkjan Honing, who also has a blog post on it on his ‘Music Matters’ site:
…Pinker explains again why music is not an adaptation but should be seen as a kind of ‘supernormal stimulus’ — adding the phrase “people in music hate this theory…”.
The whole episode is worth watching (perhaps the whole series is too, a 3-DVD set of uncut interviews, over 18 hours), but the fragment on music starts at about 3′50″.
(Thanks to Frans Ellenbroek, who pointed me to this one)