There Is No Disputing About Taste – Or Is There? On ‘Good Taste’ in Food and Art
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About the Event
We are today used to two different concepts of "taste". First in the field of gastronomy and second in the field of aesthetics. There seems to be little connection between the two. While taste is traditionally viewed as a “lower” bodily sense oriented towards the mere physiological necessities of life, sight and hearing are considered to be “higher” senses considered to be the primary tools for gaining knowledge. It would therefore have been natural to assume that sight and hearing would have become the best senses for judging beauty or sublimity. But it was taste that became the main faculty for aesthetic judgment, especially for 18th-century philosophers. Why is that? Why did taste suddenly emerge as a metaphor for judging beauty? This presentation seeks to provide an answer to this question, arguing that, due to the collapse of traditional dietary thinking in the 17th century, a new concept of “good taste”, i.e. cultivated taste, first developed in the field of gastronomy, to then spill-over into the artistic sphere serving as a powerful modern metaphor for aesthetic judgement.