Taste

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Charlotte Stevens (The Open University)
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The concept of taste developed across the eighteenth century into an often-used discriminator of aesthetic judgement, but whilst there were consistent efforts to raise it to the level of a philosophically satisfactory category, it remained conceptually vague. James Miller in

The Man of Taste

(1735) would aver that despite “the superabundance of taste, few can say what the it really is, or what the word means”, and by the end of the century it is doubtful if the question had been resolved.

Frances Hutcheson, in the first comprehensive attempt to theorise taste, his Inquiry into the Origins of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), argued that because taste is a consequence of the senses and is more intuitive than rational, all people have taste in some measure. Like other human

2923 words

Citation: Stevens, Charlotte. "Taste". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1091, accessed 14 July 2024.]

1091 Taste 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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