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The Taste Of Art Display

22 October 2019
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The eighteenth century witnessed the historical change from aesthetic instrumentalism to aesthetic autonomy. Aesthetic research has often attempted to capture this change in teleological terms, wherein British aesthetic instrumentalism appears to contain the seeds of its own decline. The purpose of this article is to restore a balance between these two major historical modes of appreciating art, and to display the uniqueness of British aesthetic instrumentalism. During especially the first half of the eighteenth century, aesthetic instrumentalism was revitalised due to a new rationale for art in the reinforcement of a national body politic and in the strengthening of a British identity. In order to recognise the distinctiveness of aesthetic instrumentalism, as well as to acknowledge by what means it operated, I make essentially two claims: (1) aesthetic instrumentalism rediscovered its effective interaction with a national body politic by exploring a possible nexus between Britain and classical antiquity, and (2) although the philosophy of art advanced by Joseph Addison (1672–1719) frequently is held as a possible commencement of aesthetic autonomy, it was, first and foremost, characterised by a systematic aesthetic instrumentalism intended to reinforce the British body politic.

Taste starts long before we grab the spoon, put it to our mouth, and let the food pass our lips and touch our tongue. Almost all of our senses are involved in the process of how we taste, and help to determine what foods we like or dislike.

We think we know how something tastes due to lifelong learned facts and patterns. Our sense of taste decides if we will swallow something or spit it out. Wolfgang Meyerhofer, from the the Center for Integrative Physiology and Molecular Medicine in Homburg, guided us through the biochemical perspective of aversions and attractions in taste. Emotional valence categorises experiences as positive or negative, or in this case, attraction and aversion. An aversive valence protects us from possible poisoning, by acids or salt for example. An attractive valence, for example sugar, indicates calories which are vital for sustaining life. This means that our sense of taste is an overall safeguard for our health.

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