This book deals with the economic aspects of changing attitudes in arts and sciences. The effects of the public good character of culture, along with the very long production period and lifetime for its products, are emphasized, since both contribute to the failure of normal market solutions. Embodiment of ideas and the consequences of modern reproduction technology for protection of property rights are closely examined.
The evolution within arts and sciences, which often seems to return to previously scrapped ideals, is illustrated by detailed case studies, in which the importance of changing tastes, rather than progress proper, is emphasized.
The author attempts an understanding for this using Darwinian evolution in combination with modern mathematical complexity theory, expressed in terms accessible to the general reader.
The second edition is extended and updated especially as regards the illustration material.
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