Project: Nature of Taste
The concept of taste in aesthetics had its origins in ideas about gustatory taste, and much was made of this analogy in the eighteenth century. Recent research on taste opens up the possibility of a re-examination of the relations between the gustatory and aesthetic concepts. Questions about the nature of taste perception, the role that knowledge plays in our appreciation of tastes, whether we can separate the descriptive and evaluative aspects of taste judgments, the contribution language makes to identification of flavors, the cultural aspects of taste, and the nature of expertise, all raise interesting and important parallels with the exercise of taste in other domains. The time is right to explore a range of connected issues spanning the domains of sensory science, psychology, connoisseurship, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics and aesthetics. The project brings together a number of distinguished scholars working on different aspects of our judgments of taste to explore these connected themes. The discussions will take place at workshops involving the collaboration of several institutions and disciplines.
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