The Sociological Concept Of ‘Taste’ Allows Us To See How

1651 WordsMar 5, 20177 Pages
The sociological concept of ‘taste’ allows us to see how our styles and mannerisms directly define and structure the societal groups we inhabit. In Stewart’s book ‘Culture, Taste and Value’ (2013) he defines taste, from a common sense perspective, as a purely subjective, private matter (Stewart, 2013). However, in this essay, my aim is to inform the reader of the substantial implications ‘taste’ has as a theoretical framework for explaining societal structures and understanding everyday life. The concept can be seen as more than just a subjective entity drawing upon private matters and should be analysed in as much detail and with as much reverence as other major sociological frameworks. From understanding the implications that the…show more content…
53). It is only when we apply thought to objects and/or people that we believe demonstrate beauty, that the judgement can then become universal. This presumes, per Kant, sensus communis; a consensus of state. When telling others our judgements of taste, it is seen as universal as they ought to share it on pain of making a judgment which is incorrect or inappropriate. (Zangwill, 2014) This would be why we do in fact look to others to share our judgment. Kant attributed the notion that judgements of taste can be applied to everyone to a priori and posteriori knowledge. ‘It is an empirical judgement [to say] that I perceive and judge an object with pleasure. But it is an a priori judgement [to say] that I find it beautiful, i.e. I attribute this satisfaction necessarily to everyone.’ (Kant, 1790, p. 165) Therefore, Kant believed, when we say something is beautiful we are using a priori knowledge to create this judgement, and we also expect the majority to agree with our judgement. Hume’s analysis, however, in ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ (1742), would argue against universality. This is because taste is the source of our judgement of natural and moral beauty, leading to the foundations of what we consider should be praised, and consequently, what should be criticised. Society craves the ability to confirm specific sentiments
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