DAVID HUME’S STANDARD OF TASTE 1
DAVIDHUME’S STANDARD OF TASTE
DEPARTMENTOF THE COURSE
DavidHume begins his essay “Of the Standard of Taste,” by outliningthat different men have different tastes and preferences. He observesthat men often despise those things that are away from theirpreferences. Also, he explains that men often have a variety ofopinions and tastes regardless of their relationship. Whether thesemen acquired the same education does not influence their school ofthought. In this essay, Hume focuses on art, and its differentinterpretations1.According to him, there are characteristics that allow men to beideal judges of art. However, he makes it clear that not all men arequalified to be judges of art. The philosopher outlines that thereare certain obstacles that hinder some men to be ideal judges of art.In this paper, there is an analysis of the author’s perspective inthe essay1.
Obstaclesto making pure judgments
Humeargues that human beings possess arrogance and prejudice in nature.This vice is one of the things that hinder men from being idealjudges of art. These men put themselves first, and do not treasurethe work of art. He outlines that having divided attention does notguarantee a comprehensive judgment of any work of art2.
Also,it is salient that prejudice results in favoritism and this is anobstacle when judging works of art2.According to Hume, self-conceited individuals are often baffled whenthey observe equality among all individuals. He creates emphasis onthe fact that prejudice is indeed a great obstruction wheninterpreting works of art.
Noman is qualified to judge art when he cannot relate a piece of workto other works. He should be capable to creating a connection betweendifferent works of art. According to David Hume, any man who has nocapability of comparing various forms of beauty is not fit topronounce any opinion. Also, Hume discusses the aspect of envy andits negative contribution to interpreting art. When envy isaccompanied with jealousy, it is impossible for beautiful matters tobe observed in the world.
Moreover,the philosopher argues that there is only one way to interpret art.In his essay, he emphasizes on the existence of only one just andtrue interpretation of any work of art. However, this iscontradictory as he describes the disparities in men when he beginshis essay.
Inmy opinion, I agree that ideal judgment of works of art shouldemanate from knowledgeable men. It is impossible for men with noinsight on art to attempt and interpret works of art. Also, I concurwith Hume’s opinion regarding those obstacles that hinder men fromideally judging works of art. When one is full of vanity, it isimpossible for them to pay attention to their surroundings. Asaforementioned, arrogance and prejudice hinders accurateinterpretation of works of art.
Moreover,I do not concur with Hume’s inference on the existence of a singleinterpretation of works of arts. As prior mentioned, there are manymen capable of ideally judging art. It is impossible for all thosemen to interpret works of art in one single manner. In fact, hedescribes the importance of these men when he argues that it is rareto find men of rare taste in the society since they have extremelyhigh level of understanding. Each one of them has diversepreferences and tastes thus they give out various opinions.
Jones,Peter .2005. Thereception of David Hume in Europe. London [u.a.]:Thoemmes Continuum.
Korsmeyer,Carolyn.1999. MakingSense of Taste: Food & Philosophy.Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Radcliffe,Elizabeth, Schmidt. 2010. Acompanion to Hume.Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
1 Radcliffe, Elizabeth Schmidt. 2010. A companion to Hume. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
2 Jones, Peter .2005. The reception of David Hume in Europe. London [u.a.]: Thoemmes Continuum.
3 Korsmeyer, Carolyn.1999. Making sense of taste: food & philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.