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The sense of taste is generally given less philosophical attention that those of touch, sight, and hearing, since it seems itself to give us merely sensation and little by way of knowledge of the world. Judgements of taste are aesthetic judgements. They voice the reactions the subject supposes appropriate to some object of aesthetic contemplation: that it is beautiful, elegant, harmonious, sublime, etc., or insipid, sentimental, over-dramatic, meaningless, etc. The problem of the objectivity or otherwise of such judgements, the way in which they can be cultivated, and their connection to such things as moral approbation, was the side of aesthetics that was most developed in the 18th century, from Hutcheson's Inquiry into the Origins of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), through Hume's essay ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ (1757), to Kant's Critique of Judgement (1790).

Subjects: Philosophy.

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