Reviews

Eric Mullis, in The Philosophers’ Magazine, 89(2), 2020, 117–18 writes:

‘An early chapter sets out to analytically define decoration as “making special by aesthetic enhancement” (which entails a clear aesthetic intention on the part of the adorner) and then fleshes out the definition by considering the relationship between beauty and different forms of functionality. Davies’ ensuing discussions of adornment practices are full of anthropological and cross-cultural details that foster deep appreciation of how they reflect cultural beliefs and values and, more generally, how fundamentally human it is to adorn oneself. For example, he considers the Paleolithic origins of tattooing, then facial tattooing practices used in Melanesia, Africa, and the early Americas for purposes of cultural identity. He also mentions the negative attitudes that the Judeo-Christian, Muslim, and Confucian traditions had towards tattooing and more contemporary views which see it as a form of beautification.’