Aesthetic judgment, taste and beauty…..
Judgments of aesthetic value rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level.
Aesthetics examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon.
Immanuel Kant, writing in 1790, observes of a man “If he says that canary wine is
agreeable he is quite content if someone else corrects his terms and reminds him
to say instead: It is agreeable to me,” because “Everyone has his own (sense of) taste”.
The case of “beauty” is different from mere “agreeableness” because, “If he
proclaims something to be beautiful, then he requires the same liking from
others; he then judges not just for himself but for everyone, and speaks of beauty
as if it were a property of things.”
Aesthetic judgments usually go beyond sensory discrimination.
For David Hume, delicacy of taste is not merely “the ability to detect all the ingredients
in a composition”, but also our sensitivity “to pains as well as pleasures,
which escape the rest of mankind.” (Essays Moral Political and Literary. Indianapolis,
Literary Classics 5, 1987.) Thus, the sensory discrimination is linked to capacity for
pleasure. For Kant “enjoyment” is the result when pleasure arises from sensation,
but judging something to be “beautiful” has a third requirement: sensation must
give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation.
Judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional and intellectual all at once.
Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste.
Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of an education
process and awareness of elite cultural values learned through exposure to mass
Bourdieu examined how the elite in society define the aesthetic values
like taste and how varying levels of exposure to these values can result in variations
by class, cultural background, and education. According to Kant, beauty is
subjective and universal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone.
The contemporary view of beauty is not based on innate qualities, but rather
on cultural specifics and individual interpretations.
Factors involved in aesthetic judgment
Rainbows often have aesthetic appeal.