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Does Hume’s aesthetic philosophy go against all of his other arguments of am I just reading him wrong?





My understanding is that Hume was a radical empiricist and, like Nietzsche, denied any claims to objectivity (He even said the self does not exist!) But in his essay Of the Standard of Taste he criticizes the argument that taste is subjective. He states that there is indeed a standard of taste. Is this not making a claim to objective beauty? Does this not completely renounce his devout skepticism?



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3 Responses so far.

  1. gisarmes says:

    Skepticism about knowledge and morality often go together with conservatism about politics and culture. “Progressive” beliefs tend to be fueled by a vision presumed objectively appealing and based in universal facts. (We hold these truths to be self-evident… or the inexorability of the Marxist vision of the human future.) All things being arbitrary and unfounded, stick with what works…Aesthetically, we’re also dealing with facts of perception, which he does acknowledge as facts.

  2. yeast's says:

    No, he thought taste was entirely personal and subjective/felt. Not a matter of fact but of sentiment. At least that’s how I remember it.

  3. momentoes says:

    I think only a true philosopher can interpret the correct meaning. Philosophical statements in general gives different meanings at different time depending upon our mental condition.