Hume's Standard of Taste

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  • Created by: A. Person
  • Created on: 17-05-18 18:13
Who famously influenced Hume?
Hutcheson and Sentimentalism
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What was Sentimentalism?
Qualities in objects trigger 'sense', which we respond to
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What is 'Taste'
The faculty which discerns beauty with pleasure
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In addition to sense, what does Hume think pleasure comes from?
Reason
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What is the source of beauty in objects?
Multiple, irreducible causes
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What is the central dilemma Hume faces?
Diversity (difference in taste) + Incorrigibility/apparent superiority
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Dispositional Response to the Dilemma?
Objects have properties with disposition to cause sentiments
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Objection to dispositional response
Ontological: divorces beauty from sentiment; Epistemic - could infer beauty
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Evidence for dispositional response
Structure of mind, qualities of objects: 'calculated to give pleasure'
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What are the capacities of critics?
Strong sense; Delicacy of taste; practice; comparison; no prejudice
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How does Hume explain diversity?
Personality differences (humours); cultural context; defects
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How to prove superiority of taste?
Can use a principle to show dissenter that an principle of art is applicable
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Problem of Proof
How could a critic prove a principle applies?
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Problem of Circularity
Criterion of beauty; criterion of critic
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Descriptivist Response to Circularity
Criterion of good critic can include their capacities
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Problem of Relativism
Taste depends on sentiment; sentiments vary; so taste depends on person, culture, etc
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Response to Relativism
Judgement of taste durable: based on sentiments present in all humanity
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What does Hume say about universality of sentiments?
'Uniformity in the general sentiments of mankind' - all general rules founded on observation of common sentiments
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Problem of Tragedy
Object of distress which pleases in tragedy would in reality make us uneasy!
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Conversion Response to Tragedy
Turning NEGATIVE into a POSITIVE
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Intellectualism Problem [Objects]
Almost exclusively literary: epics, tragedies, Homer, Virgil
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Intellectualism Problem [Virgil]
Mututal relation, correspondence of parts - composition as 'chain of propositions'
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Hutcheson and Addison on Intellectual Objects
Beauty in theorems; understanding reflects in imagination
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Elitism Problem [Example]
'Peasant' pleased by 'coarsest daubing'
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Elitism Problem [Social Problem]
Good crit. requires development; requires time and resources few can invest
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Elitism Problem [Natural Problem]
Seems must have natural potential to develop capacities
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Response to elitism 1
Hume is simply reporting on empirical facts, not making normative judgements
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Response to elitism 2
Prescription: limits to unmerited authority; status elsewhere doesn't equal as critic
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Problem: Imperialism
'Barbarous' tastes... Marion Young: we universalise our dominant experience as a norm
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Problem of Egoism
Taste involves pleasure. Sentiment --> hedonism, pluralism, egoism
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Levinson on the problem of Egoism
Why care abut what's 'truly' beautiful if you don't appreciate them? Not rational to want to emulate critics!
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Response to Egoism
Delicacy of Taste an intrinsically desirable quality?
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What does Hume say of Sentiment
Does NOT represent what's really in the object, but a relation
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What are the general principles?
Some forms/qualities SHOULD please, and failure can indicate defect. Fever example.
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What is delicacy of taste?
Enlarges the sphere of happiness and misery: sensitive to all properties
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What is the standard of beauty?
The joint verdict of critics
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What was Sentimentalism?

Back

Qualities in objects trigger 'sense', which we respond to

Card 3

Front

What is 'Taste'

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

In addition to sense, what does Hume think pleasure comes from?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the source of beauty in objects?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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