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Carleton University
Communication Studies
COMM 2102
Ira Wagman

COMM 2101 Taste Monday Jan 16 2012 Reading David Hume Of the Standard of TasteTaste is an obvious senseBut taste differs throughout different times and placesWe are apt to call barbarous whatever departs widely from our own taste and apprehensionDifference between reality and appearance12 there is a wide variance among taste even among people with the same prejudices2 contrasts our differences in taste with our disagreements in opinion and science35 he considers various approaches to ethical standards and emphasizes the role of language in creating a seeming agreement in what constitutes moral behaviour78 Hume outlines a common sense view of his time sentiment is subjective and no resolution of differences is possible but judgments are objective and disagreements can be resolved according to properties that are really in the object9 He believes that all general rules of art are based on experience and not on a priori reasoning knowledge known withoutprior to experience11 The greatest works of art are appreciated in all times and places1216 Hume attempts to explain a universal recognition of greatness in terms of the proper functioning of taste in various individuals Hume is attempting to explain how we can agree on what counts as good art even though our assessments are founded in our taste or sentiment17 He suggests that we will know if our taste is functioning appropriately if our conclusions are consistent with experiences of other nations and ages1820 he suggests that the way to develop our taste so it functions properly is practice by observing many works of art and by making comparisons among them2122 we are urged to avoid prejudice in assessing art2325 The principles of taste are universal but it might be difficult to know whether we have perfected our taste free of prejudice2627 He ridicules those who claim that we can find objective truth in philosophy and science but not in our appreciation of art2831 general principles of taste are uniform in human nature yet he acknowledges the great variations in our actual applications of our taste32 unacceptable moral content seems to Hume to lower the aesthetic value of some art works3436 Hume criticizes those who excuse much religious art on the grounds that we should be more tolerant of religious diversity than other kinds of diversityThe central notion in Humes aesthetics is taste No other authority for evaluating art exists other than taste for Hume Hume also relies on the notion of sentiment extensively synonymous with taste If it seems to be used differently what are the differences
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