In theoretical work about the language of personal taste, the canonical example is the simple predicate of personal taste, 'tasty'. We can also express the same positive gustatory evaluation with the complex expression, 'taste good'. But there is a challenge for an analysis of 'taste good': While it can be used equivalently with 'tasty', it need not be (for instance, imagine it used by someone who can identify good wines by taste but doesn't enjoy them). (...) This kind of two-faced behavior systematically arises with complex sensory-evaluative predicates, including those with other appearance verbs, such as 'look splendid' and 'sound nice'. I examine two strategies for capturing these different uses: one that posits an ambiguity in appearance verbs, and one that does not. The former is in line with an approach to 'look'-statements prominent in work in philosophy of perception, and I consider how the motivation given in that tradition carries over to the present context. I then show how the data used to support the verbal ambiguity approach can equally be captured on the second strategy, which appeals only to independently-motivated flexibility in adjective meaning. I close by discussing some considerations that are relevant for choosing between the two options. (shrink)
Can there be a philosophy of taste? This paper opens by raising some metaphilosophical questions about the study of taste – what it consists of and what method we should adopt in pursuing it. It is suggested that the best starting point for philosophising about taste is against the background of 18th-century epistemology and philosophy of mind, and the conceptual tools this new philosophical paradigm entails. The notion of aesthetic taste in particular, which emerges from a (...) growing sense of dissatisfaction with an undifferentiated category of taste, comes to be set apart from gustatory taste on account of its normativity and aspirations to objectivity. The paradox of taste, as found in Hume and Kant, is examined, and shown to be highly relevant to contemporary metaphysical debate within aesthetics. Specifically, this paper argues that both Realists and Anti-Realists rely more heavily than assumed on the idea of taste. (shrink)
Sentences such as 'Chocolate tastes good' have been widely discussed as sentences that give rise to faultless disagreement. As such, they actually belong to the more general class of impersonal perception reports, which include 'The violin sounds / looks strange' as well sentences that are about an agent-centered situation such as 'It feels / seems like it is going to rain'. I maintain the view that faultless disagreement is due to first person-based genericity, which, roughly, consists in attributing a property (...) to anyone the speaker (or described agent) identifies with (which generally requires a first-person experience) (Moltmann 2010). Unlike my previous analysis (and similar analyses), this paper no longer makes use of experiencers or judges as implicit arguments of taste predicates, but argues that impersonal perception verbs (taste, look, feel, seem), have a logophoric character. More precisely, such verbs describe perceptual occurrences whose experiencer is identical to the agent of the utterance situation, described attitudinal situation, or the situations a generic operator may range over. Perceptual occurrences are sharply distinguished ontologically from perceptual experiences as well as perceptual objects, entities we refer to as ‘the taste of chocolate’, ‘the sound of the violin’, ‘the look of the violin’. Sentences about perceptual objects ('the taste of chocolate is good', 'the sound of the violin is great', 'the look of the violin is beautiful') also give rise to faultless disagreement, but the source of that is a first-person-based attribution of an evaluative predicate to an (objective) perceptual object. (shrink)
Many experiential properties are naturally understood as dispositions such that e.g. a cake tastes good to you iff you are disposed to get gustatory pleasure when you eat it. Such dispositional analyses, however, face a challenge. It has been widely observed that one cannot properly assert “The cake tastes good to me” unless one has tried it. This acquaintance requirement is puzzling on the dispositional account because it should be possible to be disposed to like the cake even if this (...) disposition has never been manifested. We argue that familiar response strategies on behalf of the dispositionalist fail. These include appeals to conversational implicatures, expressivism, semantic presuppositions and norms of assertion. Against this background, we propose a new analysis in terms of what we call tendencies, where a tendency is a disposition that has been manifested. The acquaintance requirement comes out as an entailment. We point out a hitherto unnoticed parallel to sentences ascribing character traits such as “Hannah is brave,” and extend our tendency-based analysis to this domain. (shrink)
Contemporary behavioral and brain scientists consider the existence of so-called basic emotions in a similar way to the one described by Erickson for so-called basic tastes. Commenting on this analogy, I argue that similar basic problems are encountered in both perspectives, and I suggest a potential nonbasic solution that is tested in emotion research (i.e., the appraisal model of emotion).
“There’s no disputing about taste.” That’s got a nice ring to it, but it’s not quite the ring of truth. While there’s definitely something right about the aphorism – there’s a reason why it is, after all, an aphorism, and why its utterance tends to produce so much nodding of heads and muttering of “just so” and “yes, quite” – it’s surprisingly difficult to put one’s finger on just what the truth in the neighborhood is, exactly. One thing that’s (...) pretty clear is that what’s right about the aphorism, that there’s no disputing about taste, isn’t that there’s no disputing about taste. There’s heaps of disputing about taste. People engage in disputes about which movies, music, paintings, literature, meals, furniture, architectural styles, etc. are good, beautiful, tasty, fun, elegant, ugly, disgusting, etc. all the time. This is obvious to anyone who has watched dueling-movie-critics shows, read theater reviews, or negotiated with a group or partner about which movie or restaurant to go to, or which sofa or painting to put in the living room. It takes great care and good aim to fling a brick without hitting somebody who’s engaged in a dispute about taste. (shrink)
In this series of dialogues, Derrida discusses and elaborates on some of the central themes of his work, such as the problems of genesis, justice, authorship and death. Combining autobiographical reflection with philosophical enquiry, Derrida illuminates the ideas that have characterized his thought from its beginning to the present day. If there is one feature that links these contributions, it is the theme of singularity - the uniqueness of the individual, the resistance of existence to philosophy, the temporality of the (...) singular and exceptional moment, and the problem of exemplarity. The second half of this book contains an essay by Maurizio Ferraris, in which he explores the questions of indication, time and the inscription of the transcendental in the empirical. A work of outstanding philosophy and scholarship, the essay is developed in close proximity to Derrida and in dialogue with figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. It thereby provides a useful introduction to the philosophy of one of Italy's most prominent philosophers as well as an excellent complement to Derrida's own ideas. A Taste for the Secret consists of material that has never before appeared in English. It will be of interest to second-year undergraduates, graduate students and academics in philosophy, modern languages, literature, literary theory and the humanities generally. (shrink)
The analogy between gustatory taste and critical or aesthetic taste plays a recurring role in the history of aesthetics. Our interest in this article is in a particular way in which gustatory judgments are frequently thought to be analogous to critical judgments. It appears obvious to many that to know how a particular object tastes we must have tasted it for ourselves; the proof of the pudding, we are all told, is in the eating. And it has seemed (...) just as obvious to many philosophers that aesthetic judgment requires first-person experience. In this article we argue that, despite its initial appeal, the claim that gustatory and critical judgments are analogous in this way is mistaken. The two sorts of judgments are, as a matter of fact, similar in their epistemology, but earlier theorists have got things entirely backward—neither gustatory judgment nor aesthetic judgment requires first-hand acquaintance with their objects. Our particular focus in this article is on arguing that first-person experience is not required to know how an item of food or drink tastes. In fact, there are a wide variety of ways in which we can acquire this knowledge. (shrink)
Using a vague predicate can make commitments about the appropriate use of that predicate in the remaining part of the discourse. For instance, if I assert that some particular pig is fat, I am committed to judging any fatter pig to be fat as well. We can model this update effect by recognizing that truth depends both on the state of the world and on the state of the discourse: the truth conditions of ‘This pig is fat’ rule out evaluation (...) points for which the pig in question in world w is thinner than the cutoff for fatness in the discourse d. Then disagreements about taste are disagreements about the discourse. Unlike disagreements about the world, disagreements about the discourse can be faultless, given that none of the discourse participants has privileged authority to make pronouncements about conventions for appropriate use of a predicate. Thus on the dynamic view developed here, whether or not a dispute about taste turns out to be faultless depends in part on predictable features of the previous discourse. On this account, faultless disagreement involving predicates of personal taste does not force relativizing truth to a judge or assessor. (shrink)
Can we adequately account for our reasons of mere taste without holding that our desires ground such reasons? Recently, Scanlon and Parfit have argued that we can, pointing to pleasure and pain as the grounds of such reasons. In this paper I take issue with each of their accounts. I conclude that we do not yet have a plausible rival to a desire-based understanding of the grounds of such reasons.
ABSTRACTWide-ranging semantic flexibility is often considered a magic cure for contextualism to account for all kinds of troubling data. In particular, it seems to offer a way to account for our intuitions regarding embedded perspectival sentences. As has been pointed out by Lasersohn [2009. “Relative Truth, Speaker Commitment, and Control of Implicit Arguments.” Synthese 166 : 359â374], however, the semantic flexibility does not present a remedy for all kinds of embeddings. In particular, it seems ineffective when it comes to embeddings (...) under operators with truth evaluative adverbs such as ‘correctly believes that’ and ‘incorrectly believes that’ and under factive verbs. This paper takes a closer look at the problematic embedding data with respect to predicates of personal taste. It argues that there is indeed no semantic solution for contextualism but a pragmatic way out. (shrink)
This book analyses the use of the crucial concept of 'taste' in the works of five major seventeenth-century French authors, Méré, Saint Evremond, La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère and Boileau. It combines close readings of important texts with a thoroughgoing political analysis of seventeenth-century French society in terms of class and gender. Dr Moriarty shows that far from being timeless and universal, the term 'taste' is culture-specific, shifting according to the needs of a writer and his social group. The (...) notion of 'taste' not only helped to shape a new dominant culture, but also registered the conflicts within that culture between a view of taste that presupposted the values of 'polite society' as an exclusive (though not necessarily aristocratic) group, and a view that stressed the value of the classical-humanist tradition as a source of standards ratified by a broader public. this study sheds light not only on the central concept, but also on the individual authors discussed and on the norms of French classical literature in general. (shrink)
I consider the role of psychology and other sciences in telling us about our senses, via the issue of whether empirical findings show us that flavours are perceived partly with the sense of smell. I argue that scientific findings do not establish that we're wrong to think that flavours are just tasted. Non-naturalism, according to which our everyday conception of the senses does not involve empirical commitments of a kind that could be corrected by empirical findings is, I suggest, a (...) plausible view that is not easy to dismiss. (shrink)
Advocates of veganism often assume that food enjoyment has little moral weight, because it involves mere taste pleasure. Because of the triviality of taste pleasure, they consider it obvious that harming animals to secure particular tastes is ‘unnecessary’. After discussing the elements of taste, defending the importance of taste, exploring what ‘unnecessary harm’ means, and introducing a number of taste related thought experiments, I argue that harm to animals is not always unnecessary, when what's at (...) stake is taste. However, by supplementing considerations involving necessity with considerations of character, I conclude that vegans are often, though not always, praiseworthy. (shrink)
Two common strategies have dominated attempts to account for the nature of taste. On the one side, we have an affectivist understanding of taste where aesthetic attribution has to do with the expression of a subjective response. On the other side, we find a non-affectivist approach according to which to judge something aesthetically is to epistemically track its main aesthetic properties. Our main argument will show that neither emotion nor perception can explain the nature of aesthetic taste (...) single-handedly. In this paper, our principal aim is to examine the relationship between perceptual discernment and emotional sensibility as we find it in the process of ascribing aesthetic qualities. Is it the nature of the specific aesthetic property in question which determines the way in which perception and emotion are balanced in aesthetic attribution, or is it, rather, something about how our sensory skills operate? One of the notions we would like to explore in greater detail in this context is the idea of attunement, or the way in which aesthetic agents can align themselves to the content of an artwork o in order to better grasp its content and significance. According to our proposed picture, the exercise of taste involves an adjustment of one’s emotional sensibility to the aesthetic character of o. From here, we will posit both emotional and perceptual training as part of an agent’s aesthetic education in her use of aesthetic terms. (shrink)
This book constitutes one of the most important contributions to recent Kant scholarship. In it, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Kant, Henry Allison, offers a comprehensive, systematic, and philosophically astute account of all aspects of Kant's views on aesthetics. The first part of the book analyses Kant's conception of reflective judgment and its connections with both empirical knowledge and judgments of taste. The second and third parts treat two questions that Allison insists must be kept distinct: the normativity (...) of pure judgments of taste, and the moral and systematic significance of taste. The fourth part considers two important topics often neglected in the study of Kant's aesthetics: his conceptions of fine art, and the sublime. (shrink)
I argue for the possibility of substantive aesthetic disagreements in which both parties speak truly. The possibility of such disputes undermines an argument mobilized by relativists such as Lasersohn (Linguist Philos 28:643–686, 2005) and MacFarlane (Philos Stud 132:17–31, 2007) against contextualism about aesthetic terminology. In describing the facts of aesthetic disagreement, I distinguish between the intuition of dispute on the one hand and the felicity of denial on the other. Considered separately, neither of those phenomena requires that there be a (...) single proposition asserted by one party to an aesthetic dispute and denied by the other. I suggest instead that many such disputes be analyzed as disputes over the selection or appropriateness of a contextually salient aesthetic standard. (shrink)
The paper confronts the disagreement argument for relativism about matters of taste, defending a specific form of contextualism. It is first considered whether the disagreement data might manifest an inviariantist attitude speakers pre-reflectively have. Semantic and ontological enlightenment should then make the impressions of disagreement vanish, or at least leave them as lingering ineffectual Müller-Lyer-like illusions; but it is granted to relativists that this does not fully happen. López de Sa’s appeal to presuppositions of commonality and Sundell’s appeal to (...) metalinguistic disagreement are discussed, and it is argued that, although they help to clarify the issues, they do not fully explain why such impressions remain under enlightenment. To do it, the paper develops a suggestion that other writers have made, that the lingering impression of disagreement is a consequence of a practical conflict, appealing to dispositions to practical coordination that come together with presuppositions of commonality in axiological matters. (shrink)
According to contextualism, the extension of claims of personal taste is dependent on the context of utterance. According to truth relativism, their extension depends on the context of assessment. On this view, when the tastes of a speaker change, so does the truth value of a previously uttered taste claim, and if it is false, the speaker is required to retract it. Both views make strong empirical assumptions, which are here put to the test for the first time (...) in three experiments with over 740 participants. It turns out that the linguistic behaviour of ordinary English speakers is consistent with contextualist predictions and inconsistent with the predictions of the most widely discussed form of truth relativism advocated by John MacFarlane. (shrink)
In this paper, I take issue with an idea that has emerged from recent relativist proposals, and, in particular, from Lasersohn, according to which the correct semantics for taste predicates must use contents that are functions of a judge parameter rather than implicit arguments lexically associated with such predicates. I argue that the relativist account and the contextualist implicit argument-account are, from the viewpoint of semantics, not much more than notational variants of one another. In other words, given any (...) sentence containing a taste predicate, and given any assignment of values to the relevant parameters, the two accounts predict the same truth value and are, in that sense, equivalent. I also look at possible reasons for preferring one account over the other. The phenomenon of "faultless disagreement" is often believed to be one such reason. I argue, against Kölbel and Lasersohn, that disagreement is never faultless: either the two parties genuinely disagree, hence if the one is right then the other is wrong, or the two parties are both right, but their apparent disagreement boils down to a misunderstanding. What is more, even if there were faultless disagreement, I argue that relativism would fail to account for it. The upshot of my paper, then, is to show that there is not much disagreement between a contextualist account that models the judge parameter as an implicit argument to the taste predicate, and a relativist account that models it as a parameter of the circumstances of evaluation. The choice between the two accounts, at least when talking about taste, is thus, to a large extent, a matter of taste. (shrink)
I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in (...) which truth governs judgment to substantiate the thesis that truth’s normative function varies according to the subject matter at issue. I then argue that truth’s normative guidance in the domain of taste is characteristically weak. I introduce an intuitive distinction between basic and refined taste, and show how this distinction affects questions of faultlessness and parity. Last, I discuss the idea of alethic suberogation in connection with disagreement about refined taste. (shrink)
Previous studies have shown that object properties are processed faster when they follow properties from the same perceptual modality than properties from different modalities. These findings suggest that language activates sensorimotor processes, which, according to those studies, can only be explained by a modal account of cognition. The current paper shows how a statistical linguistic approach of word co-occurrences can also reliably predict the category of perceptual modality a word belongs to (auditory, olfactory–gustatory, visual–haptic), even though the statistical linguistic approach (...) is less precise than the modal approach (auditory, gustatory, haptic, olfactory, visual). Moreover, the statistical linguistic approach is compared with the modal embodied approach in an experiment in which participants verify properties that share or shift modalities. Response times suggest that fast responses can best be explained by the linguistic account, whereas slower responses can best be explained by the embodied account. These results provide further evidence for the theory that conceptual processing is both linguistic and embodied, whereby less precise linguistic processes precede precise simulation processes. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the relation between recipes and taste. In particular, I do three things. First, I sketch and articulate different versions of essentialism, a view that I take to reflect our pre-theoretical intuitions on the matter. Roughly, on this view, taste is essentially related to recipes—either by contributing to their identity or by being otherwise strongly related to it. Second, I argue that no version of essentialism is really convincing; hence, I conclude, recipes and (...) class='Hi'>taste are not essentially related. Third, after drawing some general lessons from the discussion, I lay the ground for an alternative approach to account for that relation. My final suggestion will be that the main source of the relation between recipes and taste is not to be found in recipes themselves and their essences, but in dishes—i.e., the concrete instances of a recipe. (shrink)
In this book, the first to describe and assess Hume's influence throughout Kant's philosophy, Guyer shows where Kant agrees or disagrees with Hume, and where Kant does or doesn't appear to resolve Hume's doubts.
According to indexical contextualism, the perspectival element of taste predicates and epistemic modals is part of the content expressed. According to nonindexicalism, the perspectival element must be conceived as a parameter in the circumstance of evaluation, which engenders “thin” or perspective-neutral semantic contents. Echoing Evans, thin contents have frequently been criticized. It is doubtful whether such coarse-grained quasi-propositions can do any meaningful work as objects of propositional attitudes. In this paper, I assess recent responses by Recanati, Kölbel, Lasersohn and (...) MacFarlane to the “incompleteness worry”. None of them manages to convince. Particular attention is devoted to an argument by John MacFarlane, which states that if perspectives must be part of the content, so must worlds, which would make intuitively contingent propositions necessary. I demonstrate that this attempt to defend thin content views such as nonindexical contextualism and relativism conflates two distinct notions of necessity, and that radical indexicalist accounts of semantics, such as Schaffer’s necessitarianism, are in fact quite plausible. (shrink)
In an increasingly globalized food economy, local agri-food initiatives are promoted as more sustainable alternatives, both for small-scale producers and ecologically conscious consumers. However, revitalizing local agri-food communities in rural agro-industrial regions is particularly challenging. This case study examines Grant and Chelan Counties, two industrial farming regions in rural Central Washington State, distant from the urban fringe. Farmers in these counties have tried diversifying large-scale processing into organics and marketing niche and organic produce at popular farmers markets in Seattle about (...) 200 miles away. Such strategies invoke the question, “How are ‘local’ agri-food networks socially and geographically defined?” The meaning of what constitutes “local” and/or “sustainable” systems merits consideration in the linking of these rural counties with distant urban farmers markets. Employing historical, in-depth interview and survey research, we analyze production and consumption networks and the non-market systems that residents in these counties access for self-provisioning and food security. (shrink)
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim.1 This argument has been taken, together with the scope problem,2 as one of the main motivations for alethic pluralism.3 We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument (henceforth IA) aimed at highlighting what are the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter (...) is accepted, a local counterexample to IA can be constructed. We focus on the domain of basic taste and we develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seems palatable in that domain. Although we undertake no commitment to this being the right metaphysical cum epistemological package for basic taste, we contend that if the metaphysics and the epistemology of basic taste are understood along these lines, they call for a truth property whose nature is not distinctively normative—contra what IA predicts. This result shows that the success of IA requires certain substantial metaphysical and epistemological principles and that, consequently, a proper assessment of IA cannot avoid taking a stance on the metaphysics and the epistemology of the domain where it is claimed to be successful. Although we conjecture that IA might succeed in other domains, in this paper we don’t take a stand on this issue. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
I defend the assumption that an expression like “for Anna,” as it occurs in a sentence like “Whale meat is tasty for Anna,” is a sentential operator, against two related, albeit opposite worries. The first is that in some cases the putative operator might not be selective enough. The second is that in other cases it might on the contrary be too selective. I argue that these worries have no tendency to cast doubt on the assumption of sententiality for the (...) relevant expressions. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the best explanation of expertise about taste is that such alleged experts are simply more eloquent in describing the taste experiences that they have than are ordinary tasters.
In this paper I investigate a certain contextualist answer to the problem raised for the view by the phenomenon of faultless disagreement: namely, that it cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving predicates of personal taste. I argue that the answer investigated either misses the target, ignoring the relevant cases which the relativist challenge is based or that it has to appeal to semantic blindness, a move that has certain costs. In addition, I argue that the same holds (...) for a specific variant of contextualist view – the presuppositional view proposed by López de Sa. (shrink)
In this essay I propose a new theory of taste, starting from the assumption of the multisensorial and ecological approach to the senses, as proposed by Gibson in his psychology of perception and by Dewey in his philosophy and aesthetics. In contrast with an optical approach to tastes and tasting, here I propose the concept of haptic taste to describe a perceptual engagement deeply involved in the processes of experiencing food and beverages, although my examples are mostly related (...) to wine. Finally I spell out the implications of a theory of haptic taste for the way we approach cultivation of taste and expertise. I suggest we should turn from the idea of ‘good taste’ as the result of trained and acquired skills to taste as a task, to mean the practical and continuous attuning with the environment we actively contribute to shape. I believe it is appropriate today to move from a culture of taste, based on an elevation strategy, to a culture with taste, which emphasizes educated nurture. (shrink)
Acquired taste is an integral part of the cultivation of taste. In this essay, I identify acquired taste as a form of intentional belief acquisition or adaptive preference formation, distinguishing it from ordinary or discovered taste. This account of acquired taste allows for the role of self-deception in the development of taste. I discuss the value of acquired taste in the overall development of taste as well as the ways that an over-reliance (...) on acquired taste can distort overall taste. (shrink)
Aesthetic TasteTaste is the most common trope when talking about the intellectual judgment of an object’s aesthetic merit. This popularity rose to an unprecedented degree in the eighteenth century, which is the main focus of this article. Taste became a major concept in aesthetics. This prominence was so pronounced that it might seem that … Continue reading Aesthetic Taste →.
Taste, perhaps the most intimate of the five senses, has traditionally been considered beneath the concern of philosophy, too bound to the body, too personal and idiosyncratic. Yet, in addition to providing physical pleasure, eating and drinking bear symbolic and aesthetic value in human experience, and they continually inspire writers and artists. In Making Sense of Taste, Carolyn Korsmeyer explains how taste came to occupy so low a place in the hierarchy of senses and why it is (...) deserving of greater philosophical respect and attention. Korsmeyer begins with the Greek thinkers who classified taste as an inferior, bodily sense; she then traces the parallels between notions of aesthetic and gustatory taste that were explored in the formation of modern aesthetic theories. She presents scientific views of how taste actually works and identifies multiple components of taste experiences. Turning to taste's objects—food and drink—she looks at the different meanings they convey in art and literature as well as in ordinary human life and proposes an approach to the aesthetic value of taste that recognizes the representational and expressive roles of food. Korsmeyer's consideration of art encompasses works that employ food in contexts sacred and profane, that seek to whet the appetite and to keep it at bay; her selection of literary vignettes ranges from narratives of macabre devouring to stories of communities forged by shared eating. (shrink)
According to Friedrich Schleiermacher, religiosity is rooted in feeling (Gefühl). As a result of our engagement with the world, on which we depend and which we can influence, we have both a sense of dependence and of freedom. Schleiermacher speculated that a sense of absolute dependence in reflective beings with self-consciousness (human beings) gave rise to religion. Using insights from contemporary philosophy of biology and cognitive science, I seek to naturalize Schleiermacher's ideas. I moreover show that this naturalization is in (...) line with Schleiermacher's outlook on biology, as he already had evolutionary considerations in mind when he wrote the Christian Faith (1830). While Schleiermacher rejects natural theology in a narrow sense (proofs for the existence of God), his project is natural theological in a broader sense, as it roots religion in experiences that we can examine using naturalistic theories. (shrink)
Evolutionary Aesthetics is a bourgeoning and thriving sub-field of Aesthetics, the main aim of which is “the importation of aesthetics into natural sciences, and especially its integration into the heuristic of Darwin’s evolutionary theory.” Scholars working in the field attempt to determine through the adoption of an interdisciplinary research methodology whether and to what extent Darwinian evolution can shed light on our capacity to have aesthetic experiences, make aesthetic judgments, and produce literary, visual, musical artworks. Notwithstanding Evolutionary Aesthetics’ growing popularity (...) in the past two decades, a look into the state of current research suggests a significant degree of haziness in the field from both epistemological-methodological and theoretical points of view. The main aim of the present paper is to make a first step towards a revision and extension of the discipline by assessing the role and potential of epigenetics in evolutionarily inspired aesthetic research. Epigenetics is among the youngest and most fascinating research fields in contemporary biology. But one of the most significant occurrences of the word “epigenesis” is in Immanuel Kant’s third Critique, his aesthetic masterpiece. What might be the relationship between epigenetics and aesthetics? What is the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the development and functioning of aesthetic behavior in humans? (shrink)
This paper explores some connections between flavour perception, emotion, and temporal experience. Focussing on the question, If you like that taste of X and I do not, are we tasting the same thing X?, I will approach it by looking at some differences between how experts and nonexperts ‘taste’. I will eventually answer that if by ‘the same thing’ we mean the overall flavour profile of a complex sensory object, then the answer must be negative. I will argue (...) that there is indeed a relatively trivial sense in which one tastes the same thing, but that this is not an experience of flavour. In the process I will reject the view that there are real emergent flavour properties. (shrink)
Well-being can be promoted in two ways. Firstly, by affecting the quantity, quality and allocation of bundles of consumption (the Resource Approach), and secondly, by influencing how people benefit from their goods (the Taste Approach). Whereas the former is considered an ingredient of economic analysis, the latter has conventionally not been included in that field. By identifying the gain the Taste Approach might yield, the article questions whether this asymmetry is justified. If successfully exercised, the Taste Approach (...) might not only enable people to raise their wellbeing, but also provide solutions to a number of issues such as sustainable development and global justice. The author argues that recently developed accounts such as Happiness Economics (HE) and Libertarian Paternalism (LP) both can be considered specifications of the Taste Approach. Furthermore a third specification is identified: Inexpensive Preference Formation (IPF). Whereas LP suggests that choice architecture should be exercised when rationality fails, IPF holds that governance in certain instances should improve choices also in absence of no such failure. (shrink)
Offers a coherent, critical account of the theological visions that Lewis develops throughout his work, providing a unified introduction to his theology and an understanding of key social and ethical themes that have made him so influential. Works discussed include The Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, and The Horse and His Boy. First published in 1978, this edition contains a new preface by the author, noting recent scholarship. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
The recent literature abounds with accounts of the semantics and pragmatics of so-called predicates of personal taste, i.e. predicates whose application is, in some sense or other, a subjective matter. Relativism and contextualism are the major types of theories. One crucial difference between these theories concerns how we should assess previous taste claims. Relativism predicts that we should assess them in the light of the taste standard governing the context of assessment. Contextualism predicts that we should assess (...) them in the light of the taste standard governing the context of use. We show in a range of experiments that neither prediction is correct. People have no clear preferences either way and which taste standard they choose in evaluating a previous taste claim crucially depends on whether they start out with a favorable attitude towards the object in question and then come to have an unfavorable attitude or vice versa. We suggest an account of the data in terms of what we call hybrid relativism. (shrink)
Children's exposure to food marketing has exploded in recent years, along with rates of obesity and overweight. Children of color and low-income children are disproportionately at risk for both marketing exposure and becoming overweight.Comprehensive reviews of the literature show that advertising is effective in changing children's food preferences and diets.This paper surveys the scope and scale of current marketing practices, and focuses on the growing use of symbolic appeals that are central in food brands to themes such as finding an (...) identity and feeling powerful and in control.These themes are so potent because they are central to children in their development and constitution of self. The paper concludes that reduction of exposure to marketing will be a central part of any successfu anti-obesity strategy. (shrink)