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Humes: 'Of the Standards of Taste'

 
 
Reply Mon 4 Mar, 2013 08:52 pm
How can Hume account for apparent consensus of tastes that generally people do agree about objective evaluations?

Relates most obviously to the Philosophy of Art.

Please provide insight, this question has me stumped.
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JustifiedReflections
 
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Reply Mon 4 Mar, 2013 10:09 pm
@JustifiedReflections,
Not sure if anyone is interested but I do believe I found the answer I was looking for.

"Despite his efforts to ground aesthetic judgements about the value of works of art into a uniform human nature, Hume acknowledges that there will inevitably be some aesthetic disagreement."
But how can he account for them?

"Hume is then forced to invoke factors either in the psychological makeup of individuals, or in shared cultural preferences, that interfere with a person’s otherwise natural ability to appreciate the beauty of a meritorious work of art. Only those with “strong” sense, united to delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all prejudice” are capable of discerning those qualities in the work that make it truly good. Thus, unable to locate objectivity in artworks themselves, Hume judges that only certain people are so well qualified that their responses really count."

Anyone can chime in if they wish.
Razzleg
 
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Reply Wed 6 Mar, 2013 12:16 am
@JustifiedReflections,
JustifiedReflections wrote:

How can Hume account for apparent consensus of tastes that generally people do agree about objective evaluations?


One of the convenient, and perhaps facile, aspects of Hume's brand of empiricism is that it does not require an "explanation" or accounting for a consensus of taste. One need merely to register and describe the occurrence of a consensus -- the assumption of "objectivity" is a byproduct of the subjective observation of a social norm.

JustifiedReflections wrote:

"Hume is then forced to invoke factors either in the psychological makeup of individuals, or in shared cultural preferences, that interfere with a person’s otherwise natural ability to appreciate the beauty of a meritorious work of art. Only those with “strong” sense, united to delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all prejudice” are capable of discerning those qualities in the work that make it truly good. Thus, unable to locate objectivity in artworks themselves, Hume judges that only certain people are so well qualified that their responses really count."


Precisely; to evaluate a work of art "objectively", by Hume-an standards, it is necessary to test and vary one's perception of the work, plumb one's own psychological preconceptions, explore both the historical and contemporary reception of both similar and unlike works in order to arrive at a pragmatic average estimation of a single work's value. That estimation's value is "proven" by its historical influence, and the critic's provenance by his subsequent eminence. In this view, a work of art's "objective" value is a result of its continuing to be an object of historical interest.
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