On the Old Saw “I know nothing about art but I know what I like"

The theory of taste faces a neglected epistemological problem. The cultivation of taste is functionally dependent upon self-knowledge of aesthetic satisfaction and its causes, in other words, knowing what we like and why. However, reservations about the reliability of our knowledge of our responses, commonplace in social psychology and the philosophy of mind, pose serious obstacles to the theory of taste. I argue for a weak fallibilism with respect to introspective beliefs about aesthetic experience. I call for a naturalistic approach to the theory of taste that accounts for the unreliability of aesthetic self-knowledge
Keywords taste  cultivation  affective ignorance  aesthetics
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DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6245.2010.01398.x
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