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Hume PowerPoint Presentation

Hume

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Hume

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  1. Hume Of the Standard of Taste

  2. Portrait of David Hume Esq.

  3. Career • 1711-1776, educated in Edinburgh • Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) • Essays Moral Political and Literary (1751) • Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (1748) • Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) • Of the Standard of Taste (1757)

  4. Of the Standard of Taste • Hume’s best known treatise on aesthetics • Taste was a fashionable subject in the 18th century • The idea of an inner sense • Tries to resolve the contradiction between subjectivity and objectivity in judgements of taste

  5. The problem • There is no standard of taste (individuality) • Taste concerns our sentiments, not the intrinsic nature of the object • No one can be wrong in matters of taste • Yet some people are better judges in matters of art than others and some works more recognised than others • There is a standard of taste (authority)

  6. The essay • Relativity of taste • Taste and opinion • Taste and moral sentiments • Two views of taste • A species of philosophy vs. Common sense • Rules derived from experience • Conditions of proper appreciation • Two sources of variation

  7. Relativity (variety) of taste • Taste and opinion • Taste and morality

  8. Two views of taste • A species of philosophy • Common sense

  9. A species of philosophy • Judgement (intellect, reason) • Sentiment (feeling, instinct)

  10. Difference • Opinions refer to matters of fact • Sentiments refer to themselves • Only one opinion may be right • All sentiments are right

  11. Subjectivity of aesthetic judgements When I say: How this is beautiful! I mean: I have a certain feeling! The judgement is not about anything in the object but about my own inner state of mind

  12. Why are sentiments right? • They do not represent what is really in the object • They mark a certain relation between the object and the mind • Example: Colours

  13. Common sense • Some authors are better than others • Some critics are better than others

  14. Explanation • The aesthetic qualities are derived from qualities in the objects • Intrinsic qualities in the objects cause a certain feeling in the subject • But the aesthetic qualities are notin the object • Everything depends upon the reception

  15. Hume’s position • Judgements of taste are subjective • Describe the emotional attitude of the individual • Do not describe real qualities of things • And based on experience • Not on any a-priori rules or principles • But experience can reveal uniformities

  16. Where do standards come from? • Experience reveals certain rules of art • General conformity in what has pleased mankind in all ages and countries • Not agreement on everything • Depends on conditions of appreciation

  17. Conditions of appreciation • Delicacy (sensitivity) • Practice (experience) • Comparison (knowledge) • Absence of prejudice (open-mindedness) • Good sense (reason)

  18. Sensitivity • So fine that nothing is left • So exact that each detail is included

  19. Experience and knowledge • Each work must be considered more than once • From different points of view • Avoid rashness • Evaluate the comparative value of works

  20. Open-mindedness • Nothing must disturb the attention to the work itself • The work must be observed on its own premisses • From the point of view which suits it best

  21. Reason • Prevents the effect of prejudice • Considers the structure of the work • (harmony and unity of the whole) • Discovers the purpose of the work of art • (if and how it achieves that purpose)

  22. Variation • Personality and temperement • Cultural and historical context

  23. Hume’s paradox • Good art is the one that good critics estimate to be good • A good critic is one who can appreciate good art

  24. Kant on the same subject • Subjective • Universal • Disinterested pleasure • Not from: Gratification • Not from: Purpose • Not from: Moral laudability

  25. Bourdieu on taste • Socially acquiered (habitus) not natural • Serves as mark of “distinction”