[lit-ideas] Tasting

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 06:51:05 EDT

"Karl Trogge" (Chris Bruce, that is), quotes from Guyter -- and one is not
clear if "he" (or he) agrees.

I generally don't _do_ Kant (I rather do Sibley) but hey, I have to


      On Kant's view, the justification of a
      judgment of taste — for which he takes
      as a paradigm the judgment that a
      particular beverage, such as a good
      single malt whiskey or a fine wine, is
      sublime — requires a deduction of a
      synthetic a priori judgment"

Enough to have Ritchie rightly, "Well come on"

--- A few points:

Let's assume that the senses are _five_. "Taste" here. Nothing enigmatic
about it. I write this because Guyter seems to be in the broader concept I
know  so well from Contintental philosophers in wanting to broaden terms to
make them  philosophically important-sounding and get better research grants!
The man is  just making an observation -- and a misguided one aimed at some
sort of  'objectivity' that most people deny -- about the use of the tongue!

The use of 'sublime' is meant as sarcastic. The Greeks _never_ needed the
notion of 'sublime'. It was all just "cute" for them, 'kallos'. Example, in
graffiti found in bathrooms in Greece, "Timotheos kallos", Timothy is cute,
etc.  "Kallos" was applied to 'shapes' basically. Can we say that a taste
has 'shape'?  I guess we can, perhaps metaphorically. But anyway, the
Germans, who have that  special geography (By Germany I include Austria,
Switzerland, etc) they thought  'kallos' was perhaps not enough. "Sublime!" they
thought. This is the 'awesome'  of the Prince Regent when he visited St. Paul's
Cathedral, "What an awful  building!" meaning 'awesome', meaning 'sublime'.
-- Aesthetics, which should be  concerned with 'cute' (kallos) as a
second-order predicate for sensations ("this  blue is cute" -- Sibley) started 
aspire to deliberations on the mouths of the  philosophers to arbiter on things
not even the schoolmen would tread in -- de  gustibus non est disputandum.
Blame it on Baumgarten, and the Continental  'authoritarians'!


Guyter continues:

    "because in calling a beverage sublime,"

-- and I have here, in this forum, expressed the more interesting
judgement, "Water is tasteless", retrieving no interesting opinion from people. 
still it's totally contradictory to say that water is tasteless, never mind
malt sublime --. How can people have deteriorated so much from the Greeks,
and  their purity of life that now it's all malt? Wine at most for the Greeks.

   "we each express our own pleasure in it,"

those who have a tongue. The 'we' is majestic and uninvited. I agree with
the 'pleasure' bit though. I do think that what Sibley lacks -- and I have
his  two books with Clarendon -- is a focus in the analysis on 'pleasure', or
Greek  'hedone'. For surely

                'this blue is cute'

means that 'this blue PLEASES me'

(The Greeks were _so_ into things that they thought that x should only
please me if x displays shape S, but that's another thing. In general, to abide
 by G. E. Moore's _non-naturalism_ we have to accept that 'blue is cute'
just  means 'blue pleases me' without further justification as to _why_ it
pleases  us.

    "yet go beyond the evidence furnished
    by that feeling"

which is personal and unshareable

            as  Wittgenstein would say

                  "I've had a sublime toothache"

                 "Nay, Witters: toothache is _no_ cute"

     "to impute it to the rest of mankind
      as the potential imbiber of that  beverage."

being just ONE intention. If you OWN the winery, it's most likely

           INSINCERE  attempt to _sell_ it.

Most people are selfish and they won't reveal a best-kept secret.

     "We presume that our feelings, just like
      our scientific theories and moral beliefs,
      can be the subject of publicly valid  discourse"

Surprised McCreery shares this; for advertisement industry is all about 
NON-PUBLICLY valid discourse. It's about privilege, and the insinuation that
the  consumer IS special -- It's the so-called "A1" group. It's not about the
 sharing; it's about the exclusivity.

        and that, although "there can be  no rule by
        which anyone should be compelled  to acknowledge
        that a particular single malt is  sublime," we are
        nevertheless entitled to respond  to a


        with a "universal voice ... and  lay claim to
        the agreement of everyone".

--- Nowell-Smith said it all more causally and less pompously in his
_Ethics_. He distinguishes between two types of justification, the deontological
and the teleological. He notes that 'deontological' statements and
'teleological' statements carry all sorts of odd, 'contextual' implications. And
that 'cancelling' them is a matter of intelligence:

       This malt is sublime; but I'd rather  be seen dead than swallowing

-- Surely, Nowell-Smith notes, 'that's _odd_, but hardly contradictory'.

Western philosophy NEEDED the otium that the 'Playgroup' of Oxford (Austin,
 Sibley, Nowell-Smith, etc.) to be able to _play_ with 'taste' judgements
like  that. We don't need the Great Voices from Konigsberg to tell us how
"universalisable" (if 'subjective' and 'unshareable') is this or that type of


J. L. Speranza
   Buenos Aires, Argentina
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